‘A jumble of beautiful patterns, textures and shapes’

‘A jumble of beautiful patterns, textures and shapes’
17 October 2019 Bertine Aalderen, van

Artist Sandra de Groot makes an installation of material from the store, plastic and rejected textiles for Groningen Designs for Verroest. You can see the end result at the store during the design route on Sunday 3 November. GO!

1. Can you briefly describe yourself and your work?
My name is Sandra de Groot, and I’m an interdisciplinary visual artist and visual arts teacher. Atelier Chaos is my own label. Chaos stands for diversity, crossovers with regard to different disciplines in art and design. My work is a changing combination of textile, photography, installation, collage and non-fashion. Autonomy and conceptual freedom are fundamental here. I enjoy working on multiple projects at the same time.

A lot of attention is currently being paid to my hand-knotted rope sculptures (called kNOTs), because these have been put in the spotlight nationally and internationally after my participation in the Salone del Mobile, the design fair in Milan last year. In addition to my own label, I also work with cross-media artist Oscar Venema and we form artist duo ZKUMM. “Large scale artworks” arise from this collaboration.

2. On which assignment do you work and for which store?
I am constructing an installation for the entrance to the store of Sander, owner of Verroest. The store sells items with a past, a story. Every object is signed by history. Sander saves them, fixes them up and gives them a second life. Verroest already works circularly in this way. Verroest does not have a waste stream of plastic and / or otherwise. The items are mostly (a combination) of wood, glass and steel and are imported into recycled textiles. I build on this concept by giving authentic vintage textiles a new stage.

3. Which waste material will you work with and why?
A steel bed frame from the Verroest collection will be the support for my installation. The work is furthermore built up from a waste stream of textile and plastic, obtained from various Groningen entrepreneurs. The textile waste stream is huge. The choice to use textile stems from a fascination with filament. Textile is willing and easy to (transform) into what I have in mind for my design.

Moreover, I believe that we consume too much textile and do not reuse enough. If we realise that the production of textiles / clothing accounts for 10% of the worldwide C02 emissions… With my design, I try to create awareness among viewers. The waste stream of plastic is also large and many entrepreneurs are struggling with this problem. It was therefore a requirement for me to literally interweave a large amount of plastic with textile.

4. Where do you get your inspiration from?
Inspiration comes to me in all forms. From nowhere, a genius idea seems to arise, and sometimes something comes to nothing. Let me say that I am influenced by everything that I usually experience, see, hear and feel, consciously and unconsciously. In nature, I have my ideas and thoughts reset, creating room for new material. The concept for my installation came into being when I literally hung my head in a large bag of rejected and discarded textiles and was confronted with a jumble of beautiful patterns, textures and shapes of self-made hats, socks and scarves. The great awareness of the amount of time / hours of craftsmanship and diligence.

Yarns, fabrics, stitches and stitching, made and worn with compassion, deserve a new place. Not crushed or cut up, but undamaged and arranged by colour and shape – into a large “landscape DNA”. An ode to the unknown makers of each individual piece of textile forms the basis for this design, which I only composed and positioned.

Plastic will act as a (braided) carrier and volume for the warm, pleasant textile. A contradiction in materials, which jointly form the foundation of meaning and aesthetics. That which is seen has only been partially observed.

5. What do you think of the theme in terms of hospitality (with the doors closed)?
The eighteenth century warehouse in which Verroest is located has a beautiful facade. The doors are always open (there is no heat source) and the whole has a friendly character. However, the building is somewhat hidden and has to be more visible from the shopping street; items are placed in front of the store.

The circular installation will be positioned in such a way that the shopping public will have a pleasant warm experience when viewing and entering the courtyard. Hospitality as a message: be welcome. Experience a positive experience of circularity and a transparent dialogue, always a fair new beginning for uniqueness and authenticity.

Sandra is the third designer we introduce. The other designers Aniek Kroes and Carmelita Gonesh are still to follow. Keep an eye on our site and socials!

You can read more about the Groningen Designs project here.

Photography: Janna Bathoorn.