WTD "What's the deal?" – A Transnational Project on Young Urban Cultures …


13. March 2015

What’s the Deal with your clothes? A reflection. By Lisa Simpson

by Hertha    Filed under: Munich,Nomadic Sculpture,Project ReportsComments Off on What’s the Deal with your clothes? A reflection. By Lisa Simpson

In tune with the EU project What’s the Deal themes of sustainability and young urban cultures I was invited as guest artist to Villa Waldberta to create a collection of upcycled garments. I resided in the Villa for two months. In October,
the sun shined in bright autumn days full of reds, yellows and greens, and it was even warm enough to get my feet in the cold water of Lake Starnberg. I set up my studio in the room just below the tower, with an incredible view of the Alps.



Upon hearing about my upcycling textile project, Matt Wiegele, Munich based artist also part of WTD, volunteered to donate a box full of T-shirts from his now extinct clothing line. They had bought the T-shirts for screen printing but the
garments had been collecting dust in his studio for years now. This was exactly the kind of materials I was looking for: clothing with a history, collected locally, and completely out of use. Matt was thrilled to see his materials would finally be put to use, adding that he had been saving the shirts in hope that one day they would be used creatively again. Perhaps someone not involved in an art and sustainability project would have long thrown them out.


Rummaging through the flea markets, I was inspired by the colours and textures around Villa Waldberta, to collect garments that reflected my surroundings. Back in my studio, I began to cut and stitch together the old and the new – new t-shirts mixed qith antique clothing – in a final collection of 25 garments that aim to illustrate both the atmosphere of the Villa, as well as the recollection of a local history through vintage garments. I spent the month transforming the unwoven , unwanted clothing and piecing them together, repurposing materials and giving them a new shape, just as nature changes shape in each season, from a most prestigious and historical studio place.

October went by as fast as the leaves around me were falling from the trees.

In December I was back to Villa Waldberta. The leaves were long fallen on the ground, the fog was so thick you could barely see the Alps which had seemed so close in October. In the spirit of winter, I spent the month of December focusing in the other aspect of my practice as a seamstress – using the sewing machine as a musical instrument. I connected with Munich based artist Steffi Müller, who is also known around Munich as a musical sewing machine artist. I was ecstatic to meet her, for in all my travels I have yet to meet someone with similar musical sewing ideas. We rehearsed to perform a sewing machine duet together at the end of December. Meanwhile, I fnally got around to visiting many of Munich´s extended list of museums, soaking in the Blaue Reiter, the New Objectivity, imagining myself walking the same streets that Franz Marc once walked. This two months residency was as much about what I put out in production as what I took in as experience and inspiritaion.


© Mehmet Birinci

In January I came one more time to Munich for the finissage event of What´s the Deal Nomadic Sculpture exhibition “Episode IV: Going Underground” at MaximiliansForum. Though no longer a resident of Villa Waldberta, I was invited to present a musical sewing performance, accompanied by musician Tona Ruiz. Through rhythmic patterns and beats, I sewed a dress from 5 of Matt´s T-shirts, a live example of the work I had been developing throughout the two month residency. I am thankful for the support from all the WTD team!


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