A need for spirited thoughts and spiritual creation is born in the second decade of the 21st century. The absence of religious celebrations and humanistic belief systems has deconstructed a society that lacks morals and manners, creating a barbaric atmosphere that governs human systems, from fanatical political leaders to violent street gangs and atrocious acts of terrorism. Making fear a dominant societal trait, modifying society from within. Suddenly the need for faith in humanity is growing, pushing designers and textile makers towards undiscovered territories, wanting to give form to objects charged with animistic power, constructed with totemic zeal.
To reach powerful expression, materials are from the earth, such as roots, minerals and metals; fibres are from the fields, such as hemp, corn and linen; yarns are from flocks, such as sheep, goat and yak; and already used fabrics are from modest scraps, to be reincarnated and given new life. Fibres want to be liberated and will float beyond the confines of a garment or object, favouring grasses, raffia, hair and rope.
The design discipline is digging deep into its history, excavating fragments of ancient civilisations, and recording indigenous ways of making, researching and innovating rarefied production processes, searching for the instinctive in human nature. In awe, designers are listening to the materials they choose, guiding them in the divine shaping of things, listening to the metaphysical importance of material as the message, acknowledging that the matter itself is charged with a spiritual strength to reckon with.
Supernal ceramics are pushed beyond their limits, wood is left to show its proper power and metal is forged into ethereal forms. Stone is excavated and granite rekindled, shape is monumental with an animistic core. The use of colour can be qualified as tribal, with dark neutrals and natural dyes. The loom is calling young designers to create textiles that are woven with a maternal, inherited aesthetic. The devotional transformation of cloth includes felting, quilting, layering and embroidery. Even adventurous 3D-printed pieces follow energy rhythms, bringing the spiritual into the production techniques of the future.
Curated by Lidewij Edelkoort & Philip Fimmano, WILD THINGS celebrates the 25th Silver Edition of Biennale Interieur in Kortrijk.
The exhibition takes place at Texture from October 14 – December 4, 2016.
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