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Helene Vonsild

Helene Vonsild is a weaver and textile designer who trained at Kolding and now has her studio and gallery in Århus where she produces commercial designs through her company 1+1 Design.

She has designed and produced a range of items such as cushions; designed commercial woven fabrics for Kvadrat, called Chicago and Tokyo, and worked with Georg Jensen in 2007 when she designed a woven table cloth to capture the essential qualities of the city of Kolding. In her unique textiles she combines yarns and develops weaves to produce works that explore specific and strong emotive themes. Her graduation work for the School of Design in Kolding was four pieces inspired by the elements Air, Fire, Water and Earth. In 2014 for the exhibition ‘Process’ she showed works under the title Twist Zoom that were inspired by classic Japanese origami techniques and her work ‘Black X White’ was selected by the jury to be shown at Nicholai Kunst & Design in Kolding and at the Round Tower in Copenhagen. Her works were selected for exhibition at the Biennale in 2007 and again in 2011.

Here weaving has become an incredible combination of virtuoso skill and intellectual game to explore the expression of distinct, strong moods and pure emotions. The same weave pattern is repeated in all four pieces but with different materials - one a heavy flax - one in very fine wool with a silver grey thread, sharp and elegant - one with paper cord and a synthetic fibre so it curls and changes in unpredictable ways with any movement and the last in raw silk with a waxed fibre that produces an incredible textile that has shape memory so it can be set into a position that it retains almost like a fine 'superfino' Panama or working with paper for traditional Japanese paper sculptures.

For all four fabrics, the weave was adjusted and in sections, for some of the pieces, deconstructed on the loom and all four pieces were conceived from the start as costumes whose form and cut was an integral part of the weaving process - so here concept, craftsmanship, mastery of technique and the execution of the design are absolutely and indivisibly united.

The palette is a subtle and very beautiful range of greys in variations of tone and warmth and again these are precisely matched to the character of each of the pieces.

The designs represent the four temperaments of Melancholy, Sanguinity, the Phlegmatic and Irascibility and those moods are expressed in both the colour tone of the fabric and in the way the costumes either restrain and control movement or positively encourage free and fluid movement.

So Melancholy, in a heavy, dark-coloured linen, is like a monk's cowl that completely envelopes the wearer. Openings are simple slits where side stitching for the seam has been omitted and the stitching of the seam itself is an open, over-looped thread that provides relief from the solid block of the fabric but adds to the texture of the heavy weight of the work. In this piece the weave is the most obvious and the most solid of the four.

Absolutely opposite in character, the textile for the Sanguine Temperament has a fine silver thread and paper cord, with open loops to link areas of the weave and form shoulder pieces and side panels, that encourage free movement. In the photograph below the piece is modelled by Helene's daughter who is a dancer.

Fine black wool with a silver grey thread forms a very simple but very elegant design with a square cut train for the Phlegmatic Temperament.

Irascibility or the Choleric Temperament is a linen fabric woven with raw Japanese silk. The weave here is very even and tight and has a strong form but an incredible texture and character that does not drape but makes gentle rolls across the surface.

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+ 33 (0)1 43 33 20 12