textile art is hot & happening

Back cover magazine 

'Textiles' is one of the first historical forms of art. Today there is a vast amount of Textile Art being produced and the medium still shows its diversity in all its forms in all sorts of businesses. The use of textiles and other flexible materials in art has aesthetic, functional and sustainable benefits. 'Textiles' is not only called the ‘fifth construction’, textile art sweeps away the 2-dimensional limitations of painting, replacing it with the texture, colour and vibrancy which can only be achieved through fiber-art.

‘Textiles’ is a passion for Ida Broekhart. Wondering why, she discovered in her family tree tailors and textile sellers. Her young Russian grandfather could still travel to Paris in the first years of the revolution, buying textiles to sell in the family store on her mother’s side. And even Ida’s daughter Nadîja Broekhart, performer and artistic director, has the drive to create and make costumes for her street theatre group ‘Hipsick Unusual Theatre’.

Rotterdam region based Broekhart loves colours and she has a great admiration for the bold colour use of textile artist Sheila Hicks. Ida’s favourite artist however, is Wassily Kandinsky, most of all because of his sophisticated use of colours and shapes. Kandinsky’s Bauhaus textile artists group and their use of non-traditional materials has been an important influence. Their materials were mixed and build with textiles to challenge people’s perception.

Ida, a former teacher, uses her intuition and listens to the inner voice. She has always been attracted to the mystery and magic of life and finds astrology, psychology and symbols highly interesting and inspiring. The ideas of 'Eastern' philosophy guide her. So if you ask what inspires her she will answer it is from the supernatural, but at the same time Ida must admit that sometimes there is no clue at all. Take the ‘Post War Couple’ blue matter paintings. It took her a while to understand that it was about her parents and their post war trauma’s.

Guided by the idea of reincarnation, the intergenerational balance and the responsibility humans carry are important issues. Working with recycled materials has been an important topic for her creations. Most of the materials used are purchased at local markets and in ‘junkshops’. On her quests the materials will inspire her. Basic materials can be industrial waste, scrap textile, old knitted jumpers, and rejected strings of wool, pre-owned dolls and vintage buttons from factory stock clearances. Like a beachcomber she also looks for stuff in the surrounding woods, along the river-side and on the North Sea beach. All places in cycling distance. She collects, selects and one day it will be transformed into something new. Due to unusual combinations such as plastic with wool, faggots with buttons, her work results in a dynamic type of art which links the past to the present.

A recurring theme in her abstract work is the fairy atmosphere. Ida grew up in a small village surrounded with wasteland overcrowded with wild flora and birds. A small paradise. Her parents came back from the Second World War’s 'Arbeitssatz’ and started ‘penniless’ a family in a religious village with strong values. As a highly sensitive child she started cycling along the surrounding meadows, when her father made her a white cycle from scrap. The happy feeling unlocked her free spirit. That connection with ‘nature’ gave structure and developed in her teens by visiting her grandmother in the Caucasus Mountains of the former USSR.

In her early twenties a friend invited her to beautiful Scotland, where she participated as a summer student textile composer in an arts-collective. The remote nature of Scotland was food for her soul. Her Scottish friends took her to places nobody visited. The fairy atmosphere started to become a theme. Later her travels to countries like Bangladesh, India and Nepal added to her fascination. The stillness of nature helped to discover inner beauty, inner peace and the understanding of herself. Her ideas developed and different projects became reactions to images in her fantasy world. Themes remained consistent. It was just the way that they are portrayed that may have changed.

As a full time working divorced mother her fairies became city-girls, as she started teaching young adults with big-city-problems. Yellow wall-hanging doll ‘Nimbus’ represents a passionate individual who carries the peculiarities of the ‘waste’ society. The doll believes in animal-welfare and interacts in the dream world. All wall-hangings, life-sized dolls, matter paintings and sculptures seem to communicate with the viewer. A non-violent kind of communication.

For decades her art is influenced by positive emotions and inspiration. This feeling is fundamental to Broekhart as an artist. Art is a world one can travel to. It is a place away from the outside world. The shapes and fabrics tell stories, sometimes personal and sometimes universal.

Like all artists Ida Broekhart appreciates recognition. Some of her art pieces were selected for the book ‘Textile is Alive’. A colourful book full of inspiring textile art from the Netherlands and Belgium, published by ‘Ellen Bakker Publisher ‘and sold all over the world. And recently the Dutch Aquarian Foundation has selected textile object ‘Supernova’ for their catalogue ‘Artworks for Water', 47 works by international artists.

In August Ida’s work will be part of a large textile artist’s exhibition in 3 historic villages of Twente from 30 July to 10 August. All invitees have works published in the book ‘Textile is Alive’. The exhibition with 20 locations is organized by chief curator of museum Bussemakerhuis in Borne, a historic village in the eastern part of the Netherlands.

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