Diploma project of the Department of Textile Design, Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste Stuttgart, Winter Semester 2015/16
News from yesterday
The journey through the varied landscape of the state of Vorarlberg, in Austria, including the Bregenzwald-area with its unique and exciting textile and cultural footprints were the focal sources and main inspiration in the M.A.-thesis-project in Textile Design. The close look at the Hotel Schwanen, embedded in its cultural past, but also equipped to fulfill wishes of today's hotel-visitors were my starting point. It called for analysis and research. An attentive look from-the-outside opened new windows of insight. The hotel owner benefitted from the project. My projections and textile ideas derived directly from this intercultural and interdisciplinary encounter.
First, it was about exploring the past. I set out to research the historical textile prints of the Vorarlberg textile manufacturers in the Textile Archives in Dornbirn. Parallel I looked at traces of craftsmanship, especially relating to "Juppe", the Bregenzerwald women's traditional costume. The relevance of yesterday for today and tomorrow were quetioned. Which aspects of historical textile importance were to be considered and activated in my thesis-project? What messages from the past should be presented in a hotel environment? How is the future embedded in the textile narrative?
In a second step, the approach to the swan followed. When "textile places" of the hotel was to find out where there could be concrete starting points for my general research. What does the traditional house stand for, where do you feel the soul and what are the signals that make the region and the hotel? Only on this basis can conclusions be drawn for the designs. Otherwise, the textile proposals would be forced from the outside, as "foreign objects" projected onto the hotel. Two aspects seem to me to be essential here: the attitude of the Moosbrugger family (from the cheese traders to today's host), which has been of interest to international exchange for centuries, and the important position of women in this house, today represented by the excellent Wild-Weiber cuisine. Seen through textile eyes, inspiration from the patterns of the textile industry, which produces for the international market, as well as the occupation with the Juppe as a regional phenomenon, is fitting.
It was a concern to me to approach the textile ideas for the swan considerately. I prefer to work discreetly and inconspicuously as loud and with a bang. The incredibly good fortune to meet the last living costume dyer Luise Fitz has rewarded me richly. It is thanks to her that I was able to deal with the much-strained issue of Juppe in my work unbiased. Since she told me the secret Juppen-Appretur recipe, I had the full freedom to work individually with this important textile heritage of the Bregenz Forest. Through my experiments, I have perceived new aspects and gained insights that have flowed into my designs. I can now pass these on as a textile idea with the _querbeet collection.
My greatest wish would be that my textiles are naturally experienced by the hosts and guests in the swan as "worthy players" in the hotel business. They would stand in a figurative sense for the "new from yesterday".
According to the oft-quoted poem of the Bizau native poet Gebhard Wölfle: "Meor ehrod the Ault, and greet the Nü, and blibot üs sealb and dr Hoamat trü". ("We honor the old, welcome the new and remain true to ourselves and to our homeland.")