Neon Mamacita

Threaded

December 4, 2014 by annie

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How did you begin experimenting with needlework, what draws you to it?

I started using it when I was in my first year at university. Before then I was very much a painter but at university I came across, and shared a studio, with some amazing painters and knew I didn’t want to be in competition with them. Also, university taught me that ideas were just as valuable as skill, and thread was the best way for me to explore my ideas.

The inspiration came from cross-stitch pieces my grandmother and her sisters had made many years ago before I was born. I remember they filled my grandmother’s house when I was growing up and I was always fascinated by them.

 

Woven Lindberg Ad by Inge Jacobsen

 

When did you start working with woven magazines?

The woven technique is also something I started exploring while at university but stopped for a few years when I was more focused on the stitching. I picked it up again in 2010 and it is now an integral part of my practice. It’s such an interesting way to distort images and viewers are often surprised when they realise it is handmade rather than done digitally.

 

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Why do you explore fashion imagery, as opposed to traditional art or advertisements?

Fashion and the whole industry that goes with it (publications, advertising, and models) has always been something that interests me. I think it’s because often young girls are direct in that way either through their own curiosity or because their peers tend to be interested in it. I remember being 15 and buying my first issue of Vogue and just being drawn in by the beautiful imagery – the people, the clothes – everything was beautiful- it was like an escape from everyday life.

Nowadays I’m more interested in what fashion means to women and what it does to us – is it empowering or objectifying women? Does it really do our gender any favours or does it encourage us to look a certain way and spend money we don’t have on things we don’t need?

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Many of your pieces have a strong sexual element- do you think fashion and sex are inextricably connected? How do they relate in your work?

I do believe they are inseparable. I believe we like fashion because we – both men and women – want to look and feel a certain way, we want to feel good about ourselves, and we want to feel desired.

I believe porn and fashion have similar issues when it comes to women – is it empowering or objectifying us?As a feminist, where should I stand on this? Again, I don’t think it’s a black and white issue and these are the only two industries where women tend to earn more than men.

The connection between fashion, porn and embroidery, traditionally a female past-time, are of significant importance to my work as a woman as I see it as a way of empowerment.

Aie Collab Jacobsen + Ledoux 4 copy

You’ve done some great collaborations with photographer David LeDoux- can you talk a little more about those pieces, the partnership, and your process of working together?

This project was a real favourite of mine because the images were taken specifically for me to work into. Alexandra Birchell-White, the editor and brains behind Aie Magazine approached me in 2013 to work on this project with David Ledoux for issue 5 of the magazine, called ‘The Sweat’ issue.

Ledoux arranged and did a fantastic shoot and these images really have this fashion/sex aura about them. They are both shocking and romantic.

The cut-outs are a way of removing the obvious sexualised parts of the models body – much of her skin, breasts and identity. Looking at these images, you don’t really see anything but one nipple, but the suggestions of what was taken away and what was left

Aie Collab Jacobsen + Ledoux 1

Aie Collab Jacobsen + Ledoux 2

Aie Collab Jacobsen + Ledoux 3

So much of your work lives digitally, but the process is anything but- do you feel like something is lost in that transition?

People do relate to the physical pieces differently because they can see the thread and the embroidered pieces are tactile. Of course this is lost in the digital world but I feel it isn’t detrimental to the overall message or the work.

The Internet is how I get my work out there and it’s the place that most people will see my work. It’s enabled me to work as a professional artist and allowed me to reach an international audience.

Galleries are wonderful, I really enjoy exhibiting because viewers can see that these are one of a kind handmade objects but in galleries only a handful of people would see my work. They both have their drawbacks and perks.



Vogue 2006 cover

What’s next for you?

I just finished working with Petronio Associates on a number of images for the Le Bon Marché Christmas Catalogue.

I went to Paris in September to be on the shoot. Ezra Petronio and his team photographed Audrey Marnay in clothing for Gucci, Dior, Prada, Celine, Givenchy, MiuMiu and other brands available from the store. The catalogue is available in store now or you can see the images on my Instagram feed: Instagram.com/ingejacobsen.

2015 will be an exciting year – I have a number of projects and collaborations in the pipeline but you’ll have to keep watching to see what happens next.

High Res Woven MIU MIU ad

Inge Jacobsen is a textile artist hailing from Galway, Ireland and now works and lives in Sussex, England. Follow her on Instagram @ingejacobsen and visit her website at Ingejacobsen.com

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