We love Amsterdam-based artist Joana Schenider’s intricate and unique embroidered art - the latest of which was inspired by ‘90s nostalgia toy, Polly Pocket - so editor-in-chief Amber caught up with the unique creator, who also happens to be in a girl band. Girl crush, much?
Tell us a little about the art you create? Physically, HOW do you do it?
All of my current works revolve around using collected ropes from Dutch harbours as the base material. I’ve learnt various techniques from the local net-makers, I also apply and invent new knotting and wrapping techniques and I’ve developed my own machines. The most important specialised tool for my creative process is a machine that turns rope around its own axis more than 500 times per minute. It enables me to tightly wrap different yarns around rope. The technique is called ‘gimping’ and comes close to coiling. I developed the technique in collaboration with the Textile Museum Tilburg four years ago. This is a very important part of my process because it allows me to truly personalise my materials.
What do you call this art style or method?
My style can be described as a fusion of coiling and hand sewing or embroidery techniques.
Being a ‘90s baby, I adore your Polly Pocket creations... you obviously loved them as much as I did growing up?
Absolutely! I cherished Polly Pocket as much as you did growing up. The tiny world within those little boxes allowed me to imagine myself in a confined and enchanting universe, a little room of wonders.
Where is the collection viewable at the moment and for how long?
The works were on view as a solo exhibition at Rademakers Gallery until July 26th. However, many of the pieces have been acquired by Dutch museums and will be displayed in upcoming group exhibitions. Rademakers Gallery will also present some pieces at the Enter Art Fair Copenhagen starting on August 24th.
Also, your title of the gallery exhibition 'If you know who she is, it's time for Botox' is so great. Do you try to bring humour into most of your projects?
Yes indeed. Humour or maybe more self-irony is present in many of my projects. As part of my generation, I feel so connected to social media, which has shaped me and influenced my perspective. The exhibition's title reflects my observation of the traps and indulgences my generation often falls into. It's not just a comment but also a reflection of my generation and personality, influenced by the everyday consumable products and experiences around me.
Some of your work looks delightfully edible, have you been told this before?
Yes, I've received many comments about how some of my work looks edible, especially in the comment section under “Polly’s Garden” on Instagram. People often wonder about the material and mistake it for cake. Actually, this nicely ties into the bubble gum aesthetics that I was trying to aim for!
For those edible looking 'bubble' style art works, is it considered performance art since you reveal the internal design of the woven shapes, in person during a gallery exhibition?
I think that textile practices like mine especially invite engagement with a more performative presentation due to the mesmerising process involved in their crafting. The tactile nature of the material encourages physical engagement, and as a result, the execution naturally turns into a sort of performance. I feel that executing textile work carries in itself a performative quality; both in a gallery setting and the daily work in the studio.
Your style is so unique, I've never seen anything like it... what inspired these methods?
Thank you again for your kind words! My methods are inspired by treating textiles as more than just a surface. I start with a single line and build every shape from it, similar to how a 3D printer works. The handmade process adds the quality of imperfection, while still achieving a resemblance to a machine-made product.
Does fashion play a big role in your life?
Yes, both fashion, as well as interior design, play significant roles in my life. I believe that the way people dress and how we live in our spaces are essential influences. Everything that surrounds us, from the way we dress to our living spaces, forms layers of ourselves that I enjoy playing with. These elements are integral to my creative process and how I express myself through my work.
This is our Style edition of Remix Magazine, describe your fashion style in three words...
What is your most prized possession?
My Yamuna Forzani mini skirt and sweater set. She is one of my best friends and an extremely talented fashion designer.
What do you love to do when you're not creating art?
One of my favourite activities is making music with my girl band, DC Schneider. Over the past few years, we've slowed down a bit due to our individual art practices, but nothing besides art excites me more than playing shows with my sister and my friend.
You can follow along Joana's journey here: