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cloche à croquer : turnip

cloche à croquer : turnip

Lena Guézennec, a new graduate from the Montreal Centre for Contemporary Textiles presents an exploration of fibre and thread -  an exploration which is specifically food based. Delicate, colourful, poetic and intriguing, her work provides a new perspective on the common (and often underestimated) root vegetable.

le tube dans le tube échevelé : turnip and leek, eggplant and turnip and radish red meat

le tube dans le tube échevelé : turnip and leek, eggplant and turnip and radish red meat

After having obtained an advanced certificate in applied arts in "Tréguier", Brittany, Lena began to focus her work on craft, and specialized in costume design by pursuing a craft diploma in costume (Sartrouville, France). Following several internships in this field, she felt the need to deepen her research in the 'material',  and continued by further orienting her studies in textile construction at the Montreal Centre for Contemporary Textiles (MCCT). Lena never abandonned her fascination for volume, but rather expanded it  by working directly with textiles she designed herself. In addition, her practice has always been enriched with cooking, raw-food, and yoga-nutrition courses.

 le rouge - le jaune : yellow and red beet

le rouge - le jaune : yellow and red beet

It is not a surprise then, that over the last two years Lena has concentrated on weaving, knitting and crocheting carrot, turnip, daikon radish, eggplant, leek and beet 'threads'. Conceptually, she pushes the idea of 'weavable fibers' beyond  common assumptions. This theoretical approach, is however,  balanced with the material challenge of adapting fragile and perishable threads to textile structures. She continuslly solutions techniques to adapt  vegetables to the loom,  to maintain an even tension of a living warp, and to develop appropriate weave structures for her particular threads.

 les cubes dans le cube a empiler : red beet, carrot, radish red meat, turnip
les cubes dans le cube a empiler : red beet, carrot, radish red meat, turnip

It can be said  that  Lena transforms fiber not unlike a chef, and structures vegetables not unlike a weaver, all the while juxtaposing these two disparate universes by playing with their essential matter. Her pieces offer up a different approach to food, and bring into focus the relationship between aesthetics and nourishment by stimulating the sensorial palette. The visual sense is aroused by the variety of colours and densities of Lena's threads. The olfactory is stimulated by the perfumes emmited by the vegetables and the spices that she employs. The auditory and tactile senses are put on alert through the rich contrast of textures present in her pieces.

 The spectator is called to interact with this work through an element which is  inseparable from everyday life: nourishment. This interaction is placed in a context to which questioning our habits of consumption is central. Lena's pieces are also a reflection on the disposable container and its life-span :  the amount of time a container is actually 'used', the amount of time invested in its production, and the time it takes for it to decompose. Contrary to these woven and crocheted prototypes made entirely of vegetable matter, the typical disposable container's life ends with the consumption of the meal it contains. Created to be used and consumed, Lena's work aims to bring forth a reflection on our everyday actions and behaviours.

damier daikon

 damier daikon betterave: radish daikon, red beet


The permanance of the object is of particular interest to Lena. But in addition,  by working with vegetable 'threads' she literally provides the possibility of considering the vegetable from new angles - via the language of form and colour offered by her three-dimensional weaves. By creating ephemeral degradeable containers, Lena invites us to reflect on the waste we generate and on our relationship to the material. Through her work, she brings textile into the domain of the culinary, and food into that of fabric. Her approach to weaving root vegetables opens up a new perspective on fiber and its (non)limits where textile is worn, tasted, digested...

 

coussin de soupe : turnip (inside carrot, piment, radish)

 

coussin de soupe : turnip (inside carrot, piment, radish)

 All Photos taken by: Frédéric Bouchard photos provide by the artist and used with permission.

For more information about  Lena Guézennec and her work contact her at:


 
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