Textiles or Sculpture?

Magdalena Sophie Orland

What does the term `art` mean to you? 

For me art means the possibility to express an individual language. At the same time there is a certain responsibility to work on topics of social relevance and make them accessible to others. Art and design become a medium of communication.


How is the use of different materials and experimental technologies enabling you to expand your textile practice?

For me experimenting with different materials is the most important and effective way to develop new textiles. On the one hand I combine common textile techniques with each other, on the other hand I am constantly looking for new materials which I can integrate. This allows me to work freely and get innovative results. 

It is particularly exciting to work at the interface between traditional manufacturing techniques and contemporary interpretations.


How do you see the relationship between your recent delicate textiles and the female body? 

I think that my current work has a very feminine expression. I didn't intend it at all, but let myself drift intuitively in the development of the project. This is also an important way of working for me. In my master's project I have been working on the reinterpretation of lace in connection with our (visual) haptic needs. The developed textiles have become extremely delicate and fine. For the photographic representation I have therefore focused on the interaction with the female body. But I believe that the textiles can also be aesthetic in another context.


Which materials give you the greatest freedom as an artist?

All of them, there are no limits. This is freedom!


Who or what currently inspires your work? Does it affect the outcome or the process?

I find my inspiration in everyday life and have an eye for the little things. I am a very visual type and can almost not be saturated with images. But the examination and dialogue with others is also important for me. There is at least one point in every (!) project where I stand in front of a wall and don't know what to do. Over the years I have learned that this is normal and even very supportive for the quality of the work. 

My mantra is: It's all about the process!


What part of the textile process do you take the greatest enjoyment from?

Material experiments are often associated with drying and other waiting times. The moment when you can pick up the textile and look at it is often the most magical! Most of the time you can't quite imagine the effect before. This happens especially when a small material sample is transformed into a large textile and all its properties change. Of course this can also be the most frustrating moment.


How do you select your colours, materials and forms?

It sounds pretty weird, but what colour scheme a textile or a project should have, I just feel. It's almost the most intuitive part of the process. 

I simply test the materials and keep very detailed sketchbooks. Sometimes I then help myself from old books, because I never manage to realize all the ideas. The sketchbooks are my treasures. 


Yes, and the forms... it's probably hard to miss that I have a thing with dots. I stopped resisting them last year, because I always find a new way of dealing with them. There is at least one dot in each of my projects. It's like a trademark.


Where do you see your work going next?

Much has been self-inflicted over the past year. This has also resulted in the further work with my lace textiles. In my master's project, I created prototypes, for which I now develop various applications.

I am also currently involved in several exhibitions and cooperations in Halle (Saale), Eindhoven, Hamburg, Cologne, Munich, Milano and Leipzig.

That means a lot of work and patience, but textile design is exactly what I want to do and what I am good at.