La Fille de l’Ete L’Offrande
130 x 75
The viewers imagination is important in this piece, as there are many interpretations: Who is behind the gate? Who is in and who is out? the girl? the viewer? Does the girl offer herself to the sun, or to the viewer? According to the answers, the story will be changed. When looking at this work, I cannot help thinking of the girls in the calendars of garages and of truck drivers.
Linen, cotton, cord made of plastic bags. Pulled thread work, bobbin lace, free motion machine embroidered, machine pieced and quilted, hand applique.
GENEVIEVE ATTINGER – Artists Statement
I am a former agricultural engineer and have a scientific mind and little connection with the arts. From a very early age I’ve made my own clothes without the help of a pattern, and enjoyed using my hands to express my creativity.
I became a part-time teacher in biology and bioethics, a part-time wife/mother/housewife and a part-time textile “artist”, creating wall hangings; an equation difficult to resolve!! But I deeply believe that each of these activities feeds the other ones. It’s essential to keep an open mind to express sensations, feelings and perceptions of the life or the world in all its dimensions.
In 1989, as a self-taught textile artist feeling the need for more personal expression, I took evening classes in graphic expression and sculpture in order to progress. The course completely changed my work and perhaps that’s when I became a real artist working with threads and fabrics which I found to be sensual, tactile and malleable materials. The fabrics I now use are new or well-worn, found at decorator boutiques, thrift shops or flea markets.
I am inspired by what I see and know, by my readings, by the news reports or debates on TV, by the photos I take or I find in magazines. My concerns are contemporary problems about the feminine condition. Although I translate my concerns, my pain, my fears, I also use calm and gentle feelings too.
My work is mainly figurative, and I only half-open the door with a title; this is really important for me. I use the free-motion machine embroidery technique to make portraits that I put in the larger context of the artwork to get the narrative. I paint, dye or discharge, mistreat fabrics: cutting, knotting, pulling-out threads. The exploration and the use of these manipulations are not an aim in themselves, but a way to create the story for which threads and fabrics can be my vocabulary.
I say: my “words-matter” (in french: mots-matière)
Even if my stories are misinterpreted, the essence is that I touch the viewer! I sew “my” story, the viewer sees or reads his own.