VelvetLakes (Tradition in anAnotherWay)

Beáta Gerbócová a Henrieta Kurčíková

BeátaGerbócová, a textile artist teaching at the Department of Textile Art at the Bratislava’s Academy of Fine Arts and Design (VŠVU/AFAD), tells with her current collection of jacquard fabrics a strongly toxic and disconcertingly real story of a lake formerly bustling with life. She lets us sail onto the waters habited by pathogenic chimeras, plunge into its oily arms and breathe in its poisonous salinity. But don’t expect any emerald or turquoise tones, just sweetly putrescent pink, necrotically violet or metallic glance of light-blue colours. The sujet of her textiles is not closed, just like the fate of the Aral Sea which is hopefully not yet sealed. She decided to organise them at the exhibition in facets of a freely developing spatial installation; the jacquard fabric may be layered, overlapped, structured using other methods such as screen printing. By this, she follows the inner logic of the fabula/textile. In this sense, the wrong side is equally essential as the right side of her art pieces, with both sides generating for the artist quite a different sort of references and meanings.

A significant feature of Henrieta Kurčíková, a PhDstudent at the Department of Textile Art of Bratislava’s AFAD, is also the use of digital tech. Her working instrument is a digital embroidering machine, her method are intervention, shifts and side steps that enter into the automated procedure of the device. The collection, a part of her PhD thesis, reacts (even in the post-digital era) to an attractive and closely observed topic of original vs. copy. The artist approaches it on the level of a traditional Slovak embroidery; she pays notice to atsqn authentic version in its aesthetic and craft quality, putting it in contrast with the ambitious and naivist shifts of decor, with both serially and individually produced souvenir junk, with an intentionally patriotic and economically motivated interest in keeping domestic traditions without any empathy towards the inner dynamics of a craft development.

The embroideries designed by Henrietaare built on targeted tensions or random steps, they use the moment of interruption and following the pattern, a calm and temperament power of an ornamental pattern. The artist notices and knows how to involve the dignity and meditativeness of a repetitive principle, but also intuitive geometries and symbolical poetries of Slovak folk embroideries maturing for generations.