“Never ask your way to someone who knows it, because you could not go astray”
The detours of the heart, its secret folds.
With this theme “Byways and drifways”, I went simply playing with wool – an animal fiber – and with flax – a plant fiber.
Everything in my work expresses something both animal and vegetative world so the amalgamation of these two materials seems to me very appropriate because these two mediums wool and linen – carry well their characteristic and specific messages.
For the realization of this work, I started my path simply with a thick black rope in which I amalgamated the animal fibers of wool and linen , a vegetal material , using the technique of felting which is the perfect technique to combine both materials .
Very quickly this rope continued into another rope that then made detours, junctions, took the wrong paths, entangled …
, separations … Borrowed new paths … the colors have changed but also the widths, the thicknesses and even the shapes have changed!
A metamorphosis certainly!
Without a predetermined plan, my journey was more spontaneous, more intuitive, I continued my creative process and my work finally began to look like multiple roots but also like veins, arteries and finally like a heart, multiple metaphors …..
I let myself go … Go drifting
My work leads me almost in spite of myself, I leave my shore and venture into the meanders of a sinuous path, strange and unknown contours of my soul; it’s hard sometimes to recognize and follow.
I do not know where the detours of my heart will lead me, as well I am surprised by its hidden folds.
However, I continue my path: I must admit that I like to lose myself in the byways of this imaginary road, dreamlike but so close to my reality ….
Below is a link to an interview given by the artist Marjolein Dallinga about the process of her work (in french !):
For more than twenty years, creations were made mostly with wool. All kinds of things really: toys , scarves ,dresses, and handbags but also wall hangings ,sculptures and fantastic costumes. If the medium is the message, as the Canadian Marshall McLuhan stated, then what is the revelation of this material?
Are we artists not all driven by the tension between the desire to communicate and the desire to hide ?
Inspirations came and come from so many direction — some from walks in the forest ,some from books or exhibits. Then there are ideas like the seven deadly sins or dreams like the garden of delights.
But why this wool?
Why the loving of the felt?
Why love felt making ?
The wool is light and feral; it comes in so many colours and characters and qualities that surprise but also give tranquility because it feels so strangely common.
It is chaotic and wild and untamed ,still so close to the animal, who grows it generously several times a year.
Then the craft of felting ,the entangling of the fibers to a sturdy ,solid sculptable material .
Felted , that fluffy soft hair is caught in a material which looks like something close to animal hides, maybe even our own skin.
As wool it is free and flowing but as felt, it is imprisoned by its own hair.
As substance it gives us protection ,warmth ,insulation but its density can also invite sensations of breathlessness maybe even suffocation.
The feel of wool is inviting to touch — we felters can’t resist the allure of its possibilities .
The laying out of the carefully combed or carded fibers. Designs with intricate patterns and forms . Fascinating color combinations, placing the wool filaments in all kind of directions sometimes mixed with silks or other fibers .This painting, this shingling hair by hair, done with presence and attention is calming for the mind. The result is enchanting .
Everything changes when we start to felt — adding the soapy water ,the rubbing and rolling ,the endless massaging ( Ever wondered what is behind that need of caressing our material for hours ,maybe every day?). Gently to start with ,to give the wool time to come together and then working with more force, entangles it forever in a new form .
The final hardening and shaping is intense and sometimes almost violent ,especially when the final work is voluminous and heavy in weight.
The intense physical labour can be very gratifying when making very large pieces — almost a “peak” experience . It can take months to prepare and it can be physically painful in the body, but getting there, is very satisfying .
The aliveness of this medium makes it feel close to our skin. The fact that we make it almost solely with our hands with no tools or screens , the experience of shaping the wool only with touch into a completely unique creation is outstanding .
Sometimes it feels as if the making seems to be more important then what is made. Usually the final result leaves a feeling of disappointment.But never the less, the next idea is already popping up in the mind and creating excitement for the next project.
And the message?
What is the message of all those soft sculptural pieces ?
All those creations which look like mysterious hides or creatures from the sea or maybe enchanted forests. Some remind us of body parts ,strange organisms that look like animals but at the same time like plants or mushrooms or maybe corals .
Do they express sensations which otherwise would stay unnoticed but want to be seen and “felt”?
In fact is not all art about existential questions? Who are we? What is life?Why death? What is the intent of sexuality?Why there is illness ? Why are we alienation from our body?
Questions we have no conclusive answers for.
Maybe Art is an attempt to handle all those questions , like science and religion try in their own particular ways.
Most of the felted art pieces are expressions of the struggle with the body —they are about death and sex, sometimes quite literarily express sensations or emotions.
Does this art ,do these felted pieces become a way to live ,a way to survive ?
Still every day ,when waking up the first thing really calling is the wool ,the studio and the next creation to felt
The wool ,light and malleable but modest and so versatile. Its forgiving nature is inviting ,relatively inexpensive easily open to extensive experimentation
The closeness of felt ,almost a second skin, a friendship without a friend.
Training center textile, wool felt, fiber and color
Such. : 33 (0) 561 981 222
Siret number: 481 360790000 28
Training organization number: 73 3107496 31
Address: LA COUECH – 31310 MONTBRUN-BOCAGE – France
Join the artist MARJOLEIN DALLINGA from July 15 to July 24 2019 for a summer residence in the south of France, a two-part manual wool felt session.
Marjolein Dallinga was born in the Netherlands where she studied fine arts. She moved to Montreal, Canada, in 1989 to pursue her artistic career by making art books and jewelry. While raising a family, her creativity led her to make toys and teach art classes. This led her to discover felting, and she is now working in this environment.
CIRQUE DU SOLEIL, a world-renowned artist, has been interested in Marjolein’s work, and over the past five years she has been experimenting with felt for designing their costumes while creating finished products for their shows.
His workshop of artistic practice manual wool felt will take place in two parts, separated by two days “off” during which the workshop will remain available to students who need it or, for those who wish, activities will be organized .
Sculptural felting workshop of 3 days: “inside out, upside down“, or “upside down“
It is from the dance of conflicting emotions that creativity and art are born. Although sculpture is generally perceived as static, I see it more as a movement, the movement of wool from the fibers to the felt.
And as long as there is movement, there is life.
This three-day workshop will deepen the awareness of the experiences learned from sculpture with felt and other fibers. We will explore different ideas of sculptural forms, with the theme “upside down”, to become more aware of how we want to use this medium and why. We will focus on the basics like color, design and artwork concepts.
Students will be challenged to play with their own designs using sculptural felting techniques, deepening their knowledge of the creative process, focusing on the path and not the end result. It is an experimental discovery workshop.
At the end of each day, we will discuss creations to increase awareness of color and design choices. An exhibition of all the work will complete the course. You do not create art, it already exists, you must let it come to you, go where art is instead of trying to create it.
Act according to your imagination and your creativity, without attachment to the result.
JULY 18 and 19 :
2 DAYS OFF with workshop availability and organization of activities
PART 2: JULY 20-24 :
5 days workshop
This five-day workshop will deepen the awareness of the experiences learned from sculpture with felt and other fibers. We will explore different ideas of sculptural forms, with themes such as: folding and unfolding, relief construction, addition of shape to another surface. All to become more aware of how and why we want to use this support.
This workshop is inspired by the idea of working to make a portable sculpture, a “sartorial” sculpture. In the first days, we will play with the processes of shortening, thickening, tightening and narrowing of the felted surfaces, in order to realize our original element of sculptural artistic clothing.
We will focus on the basic elements of color, design, and design of a work of art. Students will be challenged to play with their own designs using sculptural felting techniques, while deepening their knowledge of the creative process by focusing on the idea of travel. It is an experimental discovery workshop. At the end of each day, we will discuss creations to increase awareness of color and design choices. An exhibition of all the work will complete the course. You do not create art, it already exists, you must let it come to you, go where art is instead of trying to create it, Act according to your enthusiasm, without attachment to the result!
Experience in basic felting techniques is required to follow this workshop.
Maximal 12 students*
To download a registration form directly to this workshop: yes I click on the link below:
Flourish: Marjolein Dallinga & Jantje Visscher, a Jodi Lundgren curated exhibition, opens today at South Dakota Art Museum and runs through Aug. 4, 2019. As the museum’s Curator of Exhibits, Lundgren is adept at identifying and connecting artists and works with contrasting styles and mediums tied together through common themes and sources of inspiration.
In Flourish, visitors experience Marjolein Dallinga’s intriguing felted sculptural works displayed alongside Jantje Visscher’s dazzling drawings in light. Together, the vibrancy of light and shadow, color and material, and organic patterns take center stage. United through the drama and beauty of organic unfolding, these works provide a magical view of natural forms.
Marjolein Dallinga’s felted forms emphasize color and the physicality of material while Visscher’s light drawings emphasize the immateriality of light and shadow. Despite a major divergence between the practices of these two artists in terms of their materials and processes, both artists embrace organic dynamics in the creation of powerful works with visceral appeal. Their abstraction of natural elements heightens the viewer’s experience of universal organic aesthetics. Alluring and mysterious forms pull viewers up close to discover the richness of glimmering or saturated details. Layers upon layers build into vast networks of beautifully interconnected patterns. The expansion and scaling of simple root elements into these substantial and mesmerizing forms replicate a natural process that imbues these works with the pulsing vigor of life, growth, and infinite possibility.
Lundgren brought the artworks of these two artists together for the first time through a process of discovery and connection that is typical of her curated exhibitions. She first became aware of Dallinga’s practice after South Dakota Art Museum Director, Lynn Verschoor, also a fiber artist in her own right, participated in a Minnesota Felting Guild workshop led by Dallinga at the Textile Center in Minneapolis. Lundgren said that Verschoor was so enthusiastic about Dallinga’s work that she began putting the pieces in place to bring her felted sculptures and wearable costume art to South Dakota Art Museum. “Lynn was entranced with Dallinga’s work and I knew that others would be too. I could see they would be intriguing to people with and without a deep appreciation for felting and fiber arts,” Lundgren noted.
In parallel, Lundgren was beginning the curation process forRipple Effects: Artworks from the Permanent Collection (November 15, 2018 – May 5, 2019). A 1987 Visscher painting in the museum’s collection caught Lundgren’s attention and led her to learn about Visscher’s more recent exhibitions of light sculptures. “Her use of light as a drawing material is fascinating. Installing her works is challenging but well worth the effort when I see how visitors react and interact with them,” Lundgren said.
Marjolein Dallinga’s sculptures are built through the process of wet felting, whereby layers of wool fibers are worked by hand into solid pieces. Wet felting is an ancient technique that is incredibly direct and requires very little mechanical intervention. This allows for a painterly expressiveness and creative freedom that appeals to Dallinga, who has utilized it to amazing effects.
Dallinga studied graphic arts and painting at Minerva Academy, a fine arts institute in Groningen Holland, where she was born. After spending subsequent years mostly painting and drawing while raising a family in Canada, Marjolein Dallinga discovered felting and found a perfect fit between her artistic practice and personal lifestyle. As she fell in love with the discipline, the creation of simple accessories like handbags, mittens, and hats, gave way to teaching the techniques of felting through her Atelier Bloomfelt, and orders for custom-made pieces.
Jantje Visscher uses light energy as a drawing material, creating wall installations out of focused light projected onto and through manipulated strips of transparent plastics. Most of Visscher’s works in various media involve an exploration of motion, pattern, and perception through the lens of science and geometry. Her light drawings focus on the physics of light and the optical effects of caustics, the scientific term for this envelope of reflections and refractions that is created when light hits curved or bent transparent materials. The ethereal, non-specific, rhythmic forms she creates inspire wonder and transcend the simplicity and mechanical nature of the materials she is working with.
Visscher earned an MFA from the University of California at Berkeley. She has received a Bush Fellowship and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Arts Midwest, and the Minnesota State Arts Board. Her work is represented in the collections of the Walker Art Center, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, the Weisman Art Museum, and the Minnesota Museum of American Art. She has been a longtime part of the Twin Cities arts community—working as a painter, printmaker, photographer, sculptor, teacher and mentor. She is a founding member of the Women’s Art Registry of Minnesota and of the Traffic Zone Center for Visual Art.
About South Dakota Art Museum
South Dakota Art Museum is located at 1036 Medary Avenue in Brookings and is open daily except for upcoming holiday and winter closures: May 27 (Memorial Day), July 4 (Independence Day) and Sundays through March. Admission to the museum is free. Parking is also free in the museum’s reserved lot just west of the museum on Harvey Dunn Street.
Nature that she appreciates above all else, it is also the place where she will henceforth give workshops devoted to her Art in a paradisiac framework favoring the creation and the expression of the natural talents just waiting to emerge in a place as beautiful!
“A classic absurd theater that dates back to 1952, is taken up by two monuments of the Quebec scene on the stage of the Théâtre du Nouveau Monde: Gilles Renaud, 73, will play the Old Man. And Monique Miller, 84, will play the Old Woman. The challenge of this text is up to the talent of the two performers, directed by the director Frédéric Dubois. “
The World of WearableArt™ (WOW) Awards Show is New Zealand’s largest sell-out performance show. In a two-hour spectacular of breath-taking choreography, theatre and music, art is taken off the wall and onto the human form as WearableArt. The high energy show needs no narration, no explanation and has no language barriers.
Guest judge Mark D’Arcy, a New York-based creative arts and media expert, said the WOW Awards Show
“makes Lady Gaga look like a librarian and has more originality and creativity per minute than any other show i’ve ever seen.”
Le Cirque du Soleil
World famous Cirque du Soleil is a Canadian entertainment company specializing in contemporary circus. Its head office is in Montreal, Quebec; The company is distinguished by a different artistic vision of traditional circus, including the absence of animals, a great importance given to acting, and based primarily on acrobatics exhibitions.
Cirque du Soleil has earned a solid international reputation for the excellence of its breathtaking shows and the originality of its sets, lighting and costumes.
THE NATURAL WORLD INSPIRES ME THROUGH ITS SOUNDS , TEXTURES AND FORMS WHICH I CAN FEEL AND TOUCH. MY WORK IS ALSO INSPIRED BY FEELINGS, THOUGHTS, AND DREAMS AND THEREFORE , WOOL IS VERY MUCH A MAJOR PART OF MY LIFE. FELTING IS NOT JUST SOMETHING I DO, BUT SOMETHING I LIVE.
My home is in Quebec and every day I walk in the deep Laurentian forest with its lakes and streams. Taking those daily strolls makes me very aware of the constant changes and natural life cycles. When I travel to teach felting workshops, one of my greatest joys is to discover new landscapes with their vegetation, animals, and minerals. These adventures give me great energy and lots of new ideas. I often dream of something deep and colourful which moves and is very mysterious. There are many corners, strange places, and holes, and I feel them on and under my skin.
True creativity does not spring from momentary inspiration. It derives from much experimentation and many mistakes, and doing things over and over again. It comes from dreaming, from the workings of the subconscious from which, occasionally, something materialises. For several years,I have tried to shape, sculpt, fold and cut this warm and woolly material. During the process of felting, it metamorphoses from an array of loose colourful fibres into a strongsturdy textile. Only by dealing with difficulty does creativity come forth. It is from the dance of conflicting emotions that creativity and art are born. Although sculpture is usually perceived as static, I see it more as movement – the movement of wool fibres into felt – and as long as there is movement, there is life. I love poetry: this poem comes from the Irish poet :
I would like to end my article with his words.
I am the wind on the sea; I am the ocean wave; I am the sound of the billows; I am the seven-horned stag; I am the hawk on the cliff; I am the dewdrop in sunlight; I am the fairest of flowers; I am the raging boar; I am the salmon in the deep pool; I am the lake on the plain; I am the meaning of the poem; I am the point of the spear; I am the god that makes fire in the head; Who levels the mountain? Who speaks the age of the moon? Who has been where the sun sleeps? Who, if not I?