Thursday, August 27, 2009

St. Louis Artists' Guild- Nathalie Cortada

EXHIBITING GALLERY: St. Louis Artists' Guild
TITLE OF SHOW: Head to Toe: From the Funky to the Sublime
OPENING DATE AND CLOSING DATE: September 20th, 2009- November 7th, 2009
SHOW DESCRIPTION: A juried exhibition that will challenge the notion of functionality yet honor the tradition of wearable art. Work shown will range from head to toe, the Funky to the Sublime and the functional to the non-functional. All textile techniques are encouraged.

St. Louis Artists' Guild
Two Oak Knoll Park
St. Louis, Missouri 63105

Submitted by Artist: Nathalie Cortada
Edinburgh, Scotland

  • Tell us a bit more about yourself: your location, professional affiliations, personal stuff…
    I am French, born and brought up in Lyon, silk capital of Europe and home of Jacquard and his famous loom. I can’t remember learning to knit, crochet, weave or embroider as a child, my mum does though! I do remember my little orange sewing machine and my brother and I hand-embroidering our own drawings on wee napkin pouches. These are still in use at my mum’s.
    I now live in Edinburgh where I learnt feltmaking and where my textile work has become a lot more three-dimensional, less functional and a lot more surreal.
  • Apart from creating things, what do you do?
    I teach textile techniques (crochet and knitting) and papier mâché and card-making at weekly adult education classes. I also run freelance workshops in various crochet techniques, knitting, textile jewellery making, feltmaking and papier mâché.
    I occasionally work in a sewing and knitting shop and enjoy helping customers make the right choices for themselves. And I work for a mental health charity three days a week in an information management role.
  • What are your favorite materials to work with?
    My all time favourite material is thick raw wool with the lanolin still in it. However I love experimenting with all sorts of materials and these vary depending on what I want to achieve and my mood at the time. Materials range from the traditional wool and cotton yarn to fancy yarns, via newspapers, network cables, video and audiotapes to fishermen’s warp and climbing ropes. I often have a minuscule project on the go alongside much larger work. I also like to mix materials, little and large, soft and rough, smooth and textured.
  • If you didn’t work with fiber, what media would you work with? Why?
    I already work in mixed media and use a lot of recycled materials in my work, mainly plastics and paper. If I didn’t work with fibre and paper my main medium would be with clay for its versatility and malleability. My current textile work is very sculptural, so are my papier mâché creations and clay would allow me to develop the sculptural aspect of my work further. Clay is also a very tactile substance and a pleasure to work with. Firing the object can give unexpected results and the object is always a pleasure to handle.
  • What is your next project?
    I always have multiple projects on the go, some have been ongoing for some time (my godson is 15 years old and never did get the cardigan, size 3 to 6 months, started when he was born…).
    I am two thirds of the way through knitting and crocheting a piece for the stitches on the Skye bridge project.
    I am a member of a group of Edinburgh textile artists with an exhibition inJanuary 2010 in Edinburgh. My contribution is based on an African legend my dad had translated from English into French when I was a little girl. The ancient theme is strangely enough very modern, about wasting natural resources for man’s selfish ends. I could easily have a whole exhibition to myself with such a theme!

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