POZNAŃ: Emotions and Textiles

The major role of textiles is to evoke feelings and emotions. Essential both for an author and the audience

– says Aleksandra Gaca, one of the most renowned textile designers in the world, who was a special guest at the Textile Festival in Poznań. Feelings are basic means of creation and perception of textiles because they are tangible. By touching textiles, a designer’s idea as well as precision and the effort that was put in their creation can be felt. Regardless of the function of a textile piece of art - be it artistic, utilitarian or decorative.

The Textile Festival was a dream come true for a lot of people. Most importantly, it was what Małgorzata Bernady had been dreaming of once she visited a festival of the same kind in Milan two years ago. Not only was it the dream of hers, but also of Ewa Voelkel-Krokowicz, the manager of Concordia Design, who wanted the center to again play host to an international exhibition. The first exhibition entitled “Mothers of Invention. Patrizia Moroso + Patricia Urquiola” under the supervision of Lidewij Edelkoort inaugurated  the opening of Concordia Design. Iconic objects signed with the names of both artists were exhibited then, so it was a real challenge to organize something that would live up to this first exhibition’s standards. Luckily, the Textile Festival proved equally successful!


(from left) The President of Dekoma, the strategic partner of the Festival, Ewa Voelkel-Krokowicz, The Manager of Concordia Design and Małgorzata Bernady, curator of the Festival


Textiles are silent heroes of everyday life, but they are not always in the shadow! The exhibition in Poznań gathered the works of Polish and foreign artists, the majority of which debuted in Poland. Let’s take an example of Eliza Stróżyk’s Wooden Textiles – objects oscillating between the softness of a textile and the stability of a wooden structure. It has been evolving since its premiere, taking various shapes, changing colors and functions. It has been also a source of inspiration for designers such as Issey Miyake.


"Wooden Textiles" by Eliza Stróżyk


The fascination emanated from Aleksandra Gaca’s talk on the creation process. Having been born in Łodź, she has been familiar with a textile tradition from early years, but gained her education in the Netherlands, at the Royal Academy of Art in the Hague. The initial fascination with fashion was gradually transforming into love for the very core of it – textiles. She has been always dreaming about three-dimensional constructions and that is what she wants to achieve while creating textiles. At present, she is designing for the greatest, be it Hermes for which she made an installation in window displays of its flagship boutiques in, for example, Shanghai and Seoul. Even though textiles she creates are of macro-scale, what she’s drawing on while creating is micro-scale. Just a little patch of a textile on the basis of which she decides about  the structure, patterns, and colors.


Aleksandra Gaca talks about her way from 2D to 3D textiles


What is the most vital thing about textiles for Aleksandra?

"Emotions. It is what makes me realize what textiles should look like. The process which leads me to suitable solutions. The inner feeling lets me know when the right moment comes”

– she says.  What makes Aleksandra Gaca’s textiles unique and distinguishable all over the world is the blending of the artistic intuition with the mathematical precision.

As the designer admits, one of her projects was particularly moving. The creation of acoustic panels for a crematory in Delft. Their acoustic qualities and a delicate gradation of the shades of grey create a space for silence and reflection. When words become useless, textiles speak.


Acoustic panels by Aleksandra Gaca


Aleskandra Gaca is creating textiles in a studio in Delft with most of her works being made with the use of a Jacquard loom in the Textile Museum in Tilburg. A perfect link between design and a textile tradition. We are waiting for the similar one in Poland...


Range of Aleksandra Gaca's works is multidisciplinary: from fashion through decorative textiles to objects 


How do trends change? The lectures given by Andre Stevens (designer and stylist as well as long-standing creative director of Kobe, Industrial Design) attracted everyone who craved news from the Netherlands, the world center of design. Andre presented visitors with the vast array of inspirations for the upcoming season applicable both to fashion and interior design. The reminder of the baroque palaces – the glamour style has been in vogue for the last few seasons now. Bright, pastel colors glittering with gold, splendor, pearls, crystal mirrors. In the contemporary version the background gets darker and additions are more expressive and shining. It is close to the Flemish painting, where every object carries its own symbolic meaning.

Typical patterns – immortal stripes this time complemented with navy blue. Patchwork and subdued bouquets of mature flowers. Bizarre additions – feathers, furs, textured leather. Marble.

Colors? Classic maroon and various shades of white. There are dark backgrounds and expressive neon colors – purple, lime, bright red, rich vibrant green. Technology connected with classics gives surprising textile results such as structured velvet.



The main lecture hall was arranged in the heart of the exhibition on purpose. It was the gesture towards the audience  and it allowed textiles to “exist” in all contexts intended by organizers.



The artistic existence of textiles was shown through Gosia Golińska’s installation and her story about her authorial interpretations of clothes, dresses in particular. She still collects personal stories about dreeses through her blog sukienka-do-ziemi.blospot.com


Gosia Golińska and her installation "Dinner served again"


At the festival, Dorota Taranek, a renowned specialist in Jacquard textiles, presented her authorial works and the works of her students from Łódź University of Technology. The artistic presence of textiles was supplemented with the interactive performance of the unusual duo ID Textile which links textiles, mapping, and multimedia installations.  


Lecture by Dorota Taranek


ID Textile installation


The practical existence of textiles, on the other hand, was shown during numerous workshops. Much attention was given to workshops in dyeing textiles (performed by Natalia Całus and Katarzyna Schmidt-Przewoźna in School of Form), workshops in screen printing with Justyna Miedoń, and workshops in creating textiles (in the Ethnographic Museum in Poznań, or smocking with Dorota Jasiak). Knowledge and great fun merged into one!


"Smocking" with Dorota Jasiak


Natural dyeing workshop with z Katarzyna Schmidt-Przewoźna in School of Form


Workshop for kids


"Warp and Woof – the mysteries of a loom" in the Ethnographic Museum


Workshops in screen printing with Justyna Medoń


PURO, as partner of the Festival, also boasted a textile accent. The Sunday event “Coffee in PURO” connected with visiting expositions and hotel spaces attracted students, designers, and architects interested in the practical interior design.


Exhibition in PURO Hotel


The Festival’s icing on the cake took the form of happening “Wishful Tree”. Drawing on the tradition of the East, patches of textiles with wishes inscribed on them were hung on a tree.  Now, all of our dreams have greater motivation to come true… Surely, we are not reluctant to admit that we want the next edition of the Textile Festival!



photo: Chris Nanu Photography for Concordia Design, PURO Blog


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