Artist in Residence at the Textile Centre Haslach:
Tufting Project by Kristina Six, AT
01. - 14.08.2022

Artist in Residence in Haslach, AT:<br>Tufting project by Kristina Six<br>01.- 14.08.2022

Detail of a tufting carpet by Kristina Six, produced at the Textile Centre Haslach, AT, photo by the artists

Report by Kristina Six

It was an honor and a great pleasure for me to be invited to Haslach as artist in residence for tufting. For two weeks I was able to use the infrastructure and the tufting studio of the Textile Center Haslach for my artistic work under ideal and professional conditions. Big thanks to Christina Leitner and Andreas Selzer for the good cooperation, technical support and hospitality. I would also like to thank Ingrid Hackl for the comprehensive introduction to the tufting studio and the numerous tips on troubleshooting - on site and as a joker on the phone. This support allowed me to enjoy the freedom to work independently in the studio.

At the same time, the exchange with my two artist colleagues was crucial to me and I found it absolutely enriching. Many thanks also to Eva-Liisa Kriis from Estonia and Julia Rademacker from Germany for the openness, mutual inspiration and pleasant company during these two weeks. We stayed together right next to the Textile Center in a cozy apartment, where we felt extremely comfortable. We had already had many meeting points just because of the accommodation, which made the exchange uncomplicated and easy. We also visited each other regularly at our workplaces in the Textile Center and stayed in touch with each other. I found it exceptionally inspiring to see how the other two worked on jacquard weaving and dobby weaving. At the end of the two weeks, I can also see parallels in our results - in terms of color and three-dimensionality. This personal as well as artistic approach represents a great benefit for me in both respects.

In addition to this positive human environment, I found myself in wonderful Haslach at the most beautiful time of the year and explored it on morning runs. Nature with its phenomena, the water of the mill, the flora and the beautiful landscape energized and inspired me. These impressions also flowed into my designs. Integrating the place into my work was an essential project for me at the time.

During these two weeks I researched the flow feeling and the moments when you feel it. Last summer I got into this particular state while tufting with this technique in this environment, shaped by textile cultural treasures and history. Fortunately, I had the opportunity to trace this again this year. In the abundance of the setting described with all its facets on a personal, scenic and cultural level, I was able to get into my beloved flow again. My resulting textile wall pieces represent different flowing moments. At the same time, these two weeks were rather intense and also physically demanding, since the tufting machines required quite a bit of muscle power and stamina. However, nothing can keep me from my excitement about the transformation of my ideas into textile landscapes, as it rather stimulates me to go further. The pieces were created in a flow state and they will always contain and transport this feeling. 

When tufting, one works on the back side, which means you don't immediately see how the threads that have just been set look from the viewer's side. A hint of surprise is always in the nature of things. Spontaneity, flexibility and intuition are constantly needed during the process. What I particularly like about tufting is this constant exchange and close contact with the work of art. At the same time, I like this intensive interactivity and that I can physically feel how my body is getting stronger throughout the process. For me, textiles are very closely related to physicality, since both areas can be sensed and touched.

Touching. The tour of the open studio as the conclusion and official part of the residency was touching as well. It appeared as a comfortable and well-rounded framework for questions from people who don't know the technology. They provided a lovely environment in which to share questions and interests. We were even treated to a live demonstration at the end, which rounded off the day wonderfully. Sharing your own passion for textiles and textile techniques with like-minded people is a pleasure.

In conclusion, I would like to state that these two weeks of residency in Haslach were an absolute enrichment for me personally and for my artistic work. I will always keep these two weeks as precious memories in my heart, as it has been an amazing and formative experience for my life; a well balanced time from start to finish. At the same time, these weeks were the start and contribution to a great summer full of potential.

I would like to conclude gratefully, proudly and full of appreciation.

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all photos: Kristina Six, AT

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