Tijdens het uitzoeken van textiele materialen, kwam ik het eerste zelfgemaakte hondentruitje van Joop de Poedel tegen. Joop is een grappig hondje. Het truitje zit hem nu iets kleiner, maar het past hem nog steeds!
Onlangs vroeg Sophie Lee, studente journalistiek aan The New School, of ik wilde meewerken aan een interview. Hier volgt de tekst:
S.L. : I would love to hear more about yourself and your career. How did you first get your start in the arts?
F.S.S. : I like art and love to paint, draw and make things. That’s why I went to art school after high school.
S.L. : Your work is abstract and unconventional (in a really lovely way). What would you say are your main inspirations?
F.S.S. : Perception, observation and being bound to one’s own body, life force and vitality are recurring themes in my work. But in fact anything can be an inspiration, it’s how you look at things. It is about converting associative thinking into an image.
S.L. : I noticed that your work also has a surrealist quality to them. What do you enjoy most out of creating your own pieces?
F.S.S. : It is very important that I feel a certain urge and joy to make something. Painting is a different method than crocheting or working with textiles. Not only in duration, but also in concentration. It is also a process of directing and letting go, where everything is possible, that freedom is of great importance. A painting, an image is something very wonderful, because it stands alone, is autonomous and free.
S.L. : In your work, your not just painting, sculpting, or crocheting textiles—you combine all these different mediums together. I was curious about what does your design process looks like?
F.S.S. : The fact that I work with different techniques is something that has arisen over the years. Painting is very important to me, but I also did needlework for a long time. Around 2005 I started crocheting a buste and some years later I designed a number of dresses. But making good clothes is a profession in itself and I am not the type to spend hours stitching a pattern neatly. I am not so fond of working with patterns. Not even if I designed them myself. A pattern is a kind of intermediate phase, it is a different way of working creatively. I made the first masks and costumes just for fun. I enjoyed making them, putting them on, wear them and taking pictures. In the beginning the textile work was something separate from my paintings, in which I was mainly concerned with the “unseen landscape”. Over time, there has been an increasing fusion in my work between painting and textile work. I thought why choose if I can use al these technics and materials together in my work. There are so many possibilities, it gives me a lot of joy.
S.L. : How would you describe the symbolism behind your artwork?
F.S.S. : I don’t really work with ‘symbols’, they limit the freedom of the imagination. In my visual language I work mainly associative and intuitive, it is more a form of abstract thinking. For me, visual art is a language in itself and a good work of art is autonomous, it speaks for itself.
S.L. : As an art enthusiast myself, I find myself having trouble staying productive and end up hitting an “art block.” How do you constantly stay creative?
F.S.S. : You don’t always have to be creative, it’s okay to make nothing for a while and do other things, or do very little. In any case, coercion is counterproductive, as soon as you impose on yourself that you have to work creatively, well, then often little good comes out of your hands. But you can do things to keep the creative process alive, such as taking notes and making small sketches of things you notice, observations, considerations, and so on. It is also a matter of doing. Trying out new materials and techniques, it gives you new experiences. You can also clean up your workspace, who knows what you will encounter. Or preparing canvases and other activities like that. Sometimes I work in my studio and apparently I don’t have a good concentration, things fail or I screw them up. That is part of it, you can learn a lot from it. When I go home at the end of the day, I still have the feeling that I worked well, even though I didn’t have good results that day.
S.L. : Is there a certain feeling or reaction that you want viewers to feel?
F.S.S. : The spectators are free to experience my work for themselves. I wish people can enjoy my work in their own way.
S.L. : I looked at your work and I was really interested in your “Return from the battle” crochet costume from 2015. What was the meaning behind the costume?
F.S.S. : The costume has something like an armor, it defends, is a shield, but it is also made of wool and it is soft and supple, fragile and open. The “Return from the battle” costume is a kind of victory costume.
S.L. : Can we expect to see the return of crochet costumes and masks?
F.S.S. : Yes, that is quite possible. I have a number of ideas, but it will gradually become clear whether and how I will develop them. Maybe in the future I would also like to work with a model or a photographer for the masks and costumes.
S.L. : Do you have any future plans art-wise?
F.S.S. : Making a lot of new work, paintings, textile works and possibly beautiful exhibitions. Thank you for your interest.