Fransje Gimbrere’s deceptively strong Standing Textile(s)

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Fransje Gimbrere is a recent graduate from Design Academy in Eindhoven. One of the common strengths of the academy’s graduates is the ability to inventively experiment with materials. This is where Gimbrere also shines, specifically in her project Standing Textile(s).

Throughout her studies, her work has tip-toed around notions of the grotesque, perceptions of the human body and its interactions with the natural and artificial worlds (and their entanglements). Volume, structure, and embellishment are recurring points of exploration. In her latest work, Gimbrere has shifted from creating objects that interact with the human body intimately by hugging it, embellishing it, or covering it, to a different scale. Now the objects become installations for the body to activate through its own weight or movement, such as the shimmering golden net of Luxury Fences.

It is Standing Textile(s), however, that is most intriguing. The project is a collection of colourful, three-dimensional net-like objects. These puzzling grids are made from ropes, the ends of which freely flop and fray at the margins of each grid. How is it that these soft objects form such a sturdy looking forms? The answer is, unfortunately, not some kind of magic, but as is often the case, lengthy experimentation and hard work. The designer wanted to showcase the possibilities of textiles from a new angle. Textile crafts have long been deemed old-fashioned, but Standing Textile(s) proves this notion to be wrong, taking inspiration from activities such as crochet and weaving, transforming the materials and the process, and potentially bringing them back into the domestic space with an invigorated energy.

Fransje Gimbrere has created her own ropes, some from softer natural fibres such as cotton and bamboo, others from recycled plastic bottles, for a firmer constitution. She developed a bespoke method of 3D weaving to transform the limp material into these voluminous scaffolds. Once completed, the ropes are sealed with a bio resin to ensure their sleek surface and restrict wear and tear. At once hollow and light, and densely expansive, the sculptures play with dualities. Despite their fragile appearance, the Standing Textile(s) are strong enough to carry the weight of a human. These feel very much like the beginnings of potential further developments and novel applications of Gimbrere’s 3D weaving technique. Keep up to date with what these may be on her website.