Shaping ideas

Shaping ideas into visual espressions always felt natural to Suzanne Dikker. The urge to create evolved into a professional practice, primarily based on pure intuition and a great love for tactile materials. Through a growing number of international artist-in-residencies, Dikker takes a thorough look in the rear view mirror and explores the motives lying behind her applied arts. Each project contributes to this fundamental research on design methods. Local cultures, landscapes and vegetation lead the way in the process and offer a clear canvas to create out of unfamiliar perspectives.

 
 

In art, ideas are often reduced to their essence and captured as a final piece that represents an ultimate moment in time. Off the wall celebrates the whole process of creation in a mindful manner. The repetative movement of weaving each line by hand, touching every inch of the yarn leads to a meditative state of being and a sincere connection with the material.

Off the wall celebrates the process of creation

‘‘A spool of pure linen yarn, reclaimed from a local thrift store was the starting point of this project. As an artist-in-residence at Ricklundgården (Saxnäs, Sweden) I devoted my stay to weaving the front and back panel of a garment shaped object. Unbleached yarn is stretched onto a wooden board as a warp base, using thoughtfully placed metal pins. A rigid pattern of linen between the nailed pins evolves through tension, which lasts as long as it is attached to its original surface. The weft threads are evenly woven in by hand, creating a coars flat binding. The outlines refer to a clothing silhouette that, once released will take on a softer appearance.’’


The use of flax fibers for practical purposes dates back to the stone age. At first only ropes and fishing nets were constructed out of twined straw. After the invention of the spinning weel in the early sixteen hundreds, soon the plants were processed into string. The development of weaving looms made substantial progression between the eighteenth and nineteenth century. In Sweden, several famous damask weaving mills were blooming during this period and the countryside was covered by blue-flowering flax every spring. Off the wall aims to continue this long tradition of flax weaving in an authentic, yet contempary way.
 

Suzanne Dikker Off The Wall Art Project
Suzanne Dikker Off The Wall Art Project
Suzanne Dikker Off The Wall Art Project
 
 

Throughout history rye grain has played an important role in the Scandinavian food supply. Grain was ground to flour, from which the famous rye bread evolved. The remaining straw was turned into utilitarion objects and festive decoration. Apart from its highly aesthetic qualities, the straw has proved to be a strong, water repellant and heat insulating fiber.

Rye straw as a base fiber for contemporary surface design


‘‘During a month long artist-in-residency at Not Quite (Fengersfors, Sweden) I researched the possibilities of creating a flexible surface using rye straw as a raw material. I learned about the rich history of Swedish traditional craftsmanship and experimented with various techniques. All seperate elements of the plant have their own characteristics and require a specific approach. I developed a way of extracting dye from the stems, used starch from the grains to glue fibers together and created cocoon shaped sculptures with the softer upper parts of the stalk.’’

What started out as an exploratory research, transformed into a refined installation of delicate palm-sized sculptures. A landscape of carefully piled up material samples shows a personal interpretation of the local culture and environment. The palette of light pastels, accompanied by a broad variety of golden yellows and occasional reddish hues form a subtly vibrant composition of color.

The project and exhibition are made possible with support of: Konstnärsnämnden, Kulturrådet (Swedish Arts Council) and Sveriges Konstföreningar (The National Association of Swedish Art Societies).