About

Added on by Sabine Kussmaul, visual artist.

I am intrigued by the universal nature of structures and patterns.
Some obviously visual, others with no direct visual representation, I am fascinated to discover them as networks of lines, if temporary or permanent.
The surface of the Earth, footprints of animal movement on snow, erosion of riverbeds, a geological cross section through sediment. All of those are inspiring manifestations of a more complex “weave” of life's features of which those generated from data are equally relevant, like the spectral analysis of the light of the atmosphere, graphs illustrating the population numbers of birds on a Scottish Island or the mortality of mothers in childbirth in developing countries.
All such structures are affected by change – essentially change in a sequential time frame. This notion of change is fascinating to comprehend and distils itself into the art-making process and then into its process of “usage”.

Textures and patterns as described above appear to me like background contexts or “environments”. I perceive them as the platforms on which events happen, or, in a more visual sense, shapes and constructions are becoming manifest. The design of shapes, some designed by nature, e.g. leaves, the body of an insect, a termite hive, a blood cell,  others constructed by man, bear an interesting relationship to its background context, like a building relating to the environment in which it is constructed or the design of an animal's body as a functional response to its living conditions.

Architecture and clothing are two such constructions that are typical of man's intentional relationship to its environment and an expression of his/her self-understanding.
With a background in Fashion & Design, I am much interested in the design of garments and how they “house” our bodies and relate us to our environment and life-style.
In a wider sense, architecture provides a similar relationship but is more permanent in its expressions.
I like to use architecture in the context of an image in a metaphorical, poetical way to “house” or provide “shelter” for a feeling, a mood, a memory and I like to play with the notion of inside and outside.

In my thread and canvas artworks I use drawings made from thread and stitched onto transparent fabric, which are then suspended over a canvas background. The activity of weaving and sewing is one of the most archaic processes of creating. Letting the drawing develop on its (canvas and painted) background “atmosphere” it appears like some small event occuring, delicate and with a temporary nature to it, as one of many possible ones. String and line as solitary elements are forming recognisable images, but are also playing with their own deconstruction.

Shapes and drawings cut from steel are permanent, some have even got sharp edges. This nature contrasts heavily with the fragility of a drawn image, binding them both together by this opposition and the shadows they cast onto the same background.