MA in Textile Design
Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design Budapest, Hungary 1996 - 2000
Moved to Australia 2001
The love of fibres and textiles started at the age of 10, when I learnt how to saw, knit and embroider. By the time I was 12, I knew I wanted to be an artists and follow my father's (Geza Samu) footsteps, who was an accomplished sculptor in Hungary. I chose to study woven textile design as a pathway to become a visual artist. My aim was to master ancient fabric making techniques and apply those craft skills to create contemporary artworks. I also intended to challenge what we consider textile and fabric today, by using alternative materials including metal wires and monofilaments.
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During my art school years, I was greatly inspired by the time I had spent at the Helsinki Art and Design Academy through an Erasmus scholarship. I was introduced to alternative weaving materials such as metal wires, monofilaments, and paper yarns. I have been working with these materials ever since.
After completing my art degree, I took an adventure filled trip to Tasmania. The natural wonders of the island had a profound effect on me, and after returning to Hungary, I created several artworks inspired by my travels. In 2001, I decided to move to Tasmania permanently. I was living in Hobart as a practicing artist for a decade, during which time, my major source of inspiration was the Tasmanian wilderness. The island was a wonderland of ocean waves, rugged cliff tops and soaring trees, all of which served to ignite my imagination.
I moved to Melbourne in 2012. My interest since then has gradually turned to more abstract and contemporary themes. Living in a multicultural metropolis has awoke my social sensitivity, and I have felt driven to express my thoughts and feelings on universal human rights, the faith of asylum seekers and the resilience of the human spirit. My compassion towards positive social change has inspired the creation of conceptual, (even political) mixed media artworks.
The technique I choose is determined by the concept of the artwork. I apply an ancient technique called double weaving to realise many of my nature inspired works. This way of weaving allows me to create cylindrical shapes which are the basis of many sculptural pieces. I use coiling for creating tendrils and branches, by wrapping coloured copper wire around bundles of threads. I use knotting to make wire nets and fence like structures in artworks related to social/political themes. I apply tensioned stitching in timber objects where stitching the cracks symbolizes repair and healing. In mixed media works, I print my own images on organza, or transfer them onto timber.
The most important constituent materials I use are copper and steel wires in varying colours and diameters. The inclusion of wire allows the pieces to be twisted and contorted to take the shapes desired. It also enables me to produce different textures on the surface of the pieces to catch the light, and enhance the sculptural form.
I also use metal mesh, a variety of fibres and threads, monofilaments, paper yarn, plastic tubes, salvaged wood, sheet metal, fine organza and rough cloth. I'm currently working on a series of mixed media pieces. It's an exciting challenge to harmoniously blend materials such as metal and fabric, timber and thread, photos and canvas.
Odd shapes, subtle movements, and unique shades of colours, these often represent the starting point of my creative process. Interpreting random designs of nature into my artworks, helps me to understand the wilderness and its special environment. Instead of sketching ideas of what the eye sees, I follow the vision in my mind created by the playful encounter of natural elements and my imagination.
An increasing concern and interest regarding key contemporary social issues have gradually influenced a transition from interpretative art making to a more conceptual expression of obligations. Part of this process is to interrogate and define the relation between art and politics, in the sense of an internal artistic need to reflect on important social challenges of our times, and to promote political and social change. I strive to answer questions. How can art influence people's perspective? Can people’s mind and behaviours be influenced by aesthetic statements?