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Breathing Matter: tour with the artist Jana Visser

Want to learn more about Jana Visser's work? Here's your chance! Guided tour with the artist on Saturday 1 June at 15.00

Breathing Matter: tour with the artist Jana Visser
Breathing Matter: tour with the artist Jana Visser

Time & Location

01 Jun 2024, 15:00 – 16:00

Bruxelles, Av. de la Reine 266, 1020 Bruxelles, Belgium

About the Event

Want to learn more about Jana Visser's work? Here's your chance!

Guided tour with the artist on Saturday 1 June at 15.00.

Make your free reservation as space is limited.

Breathing Matter 

Textile art in the spotlight in this exciting exhibition from 25/05 to 15/06.

Open on Fridays and Saturdays from 11am to 6pm and by appointment.

Mediating between dualities of presence/absence; fullness/emptiness; active/passive; beginning/ending; giving/receiving; internalities/externalities, Jana Visser (South Africa) seeks a logic of reciprocity and becoming through the framework of her weaving practice. Her interest lies in the relation between weaving, breathing and thinking. The inwards-outwards passage of breath provides a symbolic reflection on weaving gestures, which also depend on constant rhythms and the entanglement of seemingly binary forces; the outwards giving horizontal weft and the inwards receiving vertical warp.

Weaving is not merely an interpretation of creation. It is creation. The meeting between two sets of threads; warp and weft, is analogous to unending dualities and interconnections. The weft provides what the warp receives. The weft bestows the warp with an essence, while the weaver’s hand endows it with a spirit.

Like the primary brushstroke of a painting, the moment of inserting the first weft encompasses both unity and capacity for variation; the one and the many. The first thread, as the primordial breath, is drawn from an entangled bobbin of yarn –separating itself from entwined chaos and weaving a new universe of interlacing threads. Filled with metamorphic and transformative potential, it is as if each length of thread is a breathing exhale filled with metamorphic and transformative potential. Thus, weaving is not similair to breathing. Weaving is breathing. Far more than a means to create textile, it is a vital method of internalising, of gaining knowledge and fundamentally a way to exist; or rather to become.

This notion manifests itself in vague verticals attempting to transmit the construction of a weaving, horizontal traces which suggest the active weaving weft, or curving and swaying undulations refusing to settle as neither vertical nor horizontal yet not immune to gravity’s pull. At times the weft is absent which exposes the warp threads to ethereal domains of shifting atmospheres or movements.

Image and surface become one. Material and process become inseparable. The woven image, however subtle or vague, and its physical matrix develop in tandem. In essence, the canvas is the content. Weaving is process, but also becomes image, whereby the structural warp or traces of weft threads remain visible. In their vulnerability and susceptibility, these threads are given the space to become or to even be undone – obscuring the boundary between beginning and ending.

Jana Visser is a textile artist and designer originally from Stellenbosch, South Africa. In 2019 she completed her Bachelor studies in Fine Art at Stellenbosch University. In 2021 she obtained a Bachelor’s Diploma in Textile Design from LUCA School of Arts in Ghent, Belgium. In the following year she completed her Master’s in Textile Design also at LUCA School of Arts for which she received a Magna Cum Laude. Her master's thesis titled, "an emptiness that breathes" was nominated for a Thesis Prize as well as the prestigious Dirk Lauwaert Award.

Visser's work has been exhibited in multiple galleries and institutions in both South Africa and Belgium, including the Design Museum in Ghent, and forms part of private collections in South Africa, Belgium and Germany. Recent exhibitions include Verweven/Entrelacés at Schönfeld Gallery, After the Toil at Myüz Gallery, Zomer Salon at Kunsthal Ghent, and I try to imagine how your texture felt like at St. Peter’s Church of Ypres. In October 2022, some of her textile works were on display during Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. In May 2023 her work titled “in the almost” was shortlisted for the LOEWE Foundation Craft Prize.

Captivated by weaving as both an art-making method and its conceptual capabilities, Jana Visser searches for a sensibility of direct, intuitive expression as she makes her way into thinking. Grounding her practice in an openness to uncertainty, she navigates between controlling method and media, whilst considering relationships between matter, time and space. She views this as a source of meaning-making, and a means to explore the viability of sensory perception and embodied experience. Her methods are slow – requiring patience and time in order to grasp both their material and symbolic potency. There is a desire to know more about the self, the value of rhythm and gesture, and how thread may serve as a conduit for accessing a dimension beyond the tangible.


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