To work straight from the materials and to have immediate experiences

And then this object suddenly looked like Mr. Moustache!

Anke prefers to use unexpected materials and ‘weird’ things. Her partners in crime are the glue gun and the needle cushion. She likes to skip proper fashion techniques so she can work real fast, straight from the materials and get into immediate experiences. In her homebased studio she has a bag full of stuff, in which she can grab, sometimes without knowing what is in. Materials, textures, colours, they can all serve as staring points. Recently, Anke created weird circle shaped objects that grow from the act of wrapping materials.

“I was working with some leftover fabrics and I had some rope that I rolled around, to pull it together and then, it actually started going in a circle. It finished itself and it became a circle. Then I worked on another thing that was greener, it became a different shape with several weird circles in it. At a certain point, during the wrapping, the rope was finished. It was the kind of rope people attach to a tent. I turned it into pieces of thread. I was just wrapping this thread around stuff, adding another circle, and it became something completely different. Because I wanted to hang it up somewhere to see how it looked like, I started to knot it and put in a needle in the top one. I wanted to hang it up because I wanted to see what on earth is was becoming! Was this a sculpture? Was it a dress? I hung it up and it stayed like that, so it was finished, apparently?

But it wasn’t finished, I felt it had more possibilities in it. Then, I made another one which was more constricted and neater, but this other one had bolded shapes filled up with fibrefill and leftover fabric and all that stuff. So, I worked with foam, and some other pieces I had left over. I combined different colours and different fabrics. I used fur, and a lot of things and then it didn’t become a circle. I even had an entire plank I tried to stuff in with it and the ropes got bigger and then… Well, I tried to stuff circles in it, in the leftover spaces. And I had tightly packed stacks of short ends of wool thread, they use in the knot carpets, in Turkey or Morocco, and I stuffed them in as well. And then this object suddenly looked like Mr. Moustache. It looked like he had a moustache. And then I had to give up because it was Sunday and I needed to step into family life.

The making of Mr. Moustache happened really fast. I tried not to think too much about what it would become, because I didn’t want to have that sense of purpose. It was like sketching: it grew on its own and suddenly it was a head with a face. But I was definitely not making figurative work! It all came from the idea of wrapping, but I have no idea where that came from. I could feel it was not finished, because there was so much more to explore. It was an exploration of the material, the process and the technique and it evolved without thinking where it should go. For me, it was also an exploration how creativity can work when one does not intervene.”