Reflections

It has been quite a while since Annemie Odendaal was so excited about sharing a new series!!! She is thrilled to present this first sneak peek to you. This new series is called “Reflections”, and consists of photographs she took in France.

Annemie was so intrigued by the images she saw in the reflections, that she could not stop trying to discover more in these ever changing water puddles. What am I seeing? The truth, or a distorted version thereof? Does it challenge you to see things from a different angle or perspective? To most people it is invisible, as they just walk rushingly through the water puddles, creating a chaotic version of the reflection of just a moment ago. Completely unaware.

Although her work is mostly self-reflecting and self-exploratory, she also enjoyed seeing how external factors can distort or destroy the image of the world we see. Life is an ever changing mirror, and we are all connected in some way, whether we are aware of the ripple-effect we create or not. It is this connection with our reality – or distorted version thereof – that Annemie wanted to capture with her “Reflection” series. She wants her work to make an emotional connection with the viewer, while simultaneously emphasizing the different viewpoints or perspectives of a mutually shared situation.

“During my stay in Paris I was struck once again by the beauty, complexity and secrets of Paris, much as is reflective of our own lives. “

Annemie

“I didn’t just want to present these photographs as photographs, but layered them with the complexity and symbolism they deserve. I did so by incorporating embroidery from inspiration I got from my previous travels, and studying different types of embroidery techniques, their meaning and history, to change the pictures into strong messages. I transform and re-contextualize my photographs, opening them up for re-interpretation.”

Annemie loves art techniques that takes time, has a repetitive part and is rich with history. The reason she loves embroidery so much, is because of the meditative and calming quality it has, as well as the precision, meticulous details and structure. One of her favourite types of stitching is called “blackwork”. The counted-thread technique achieves a traditional look, while creating an intricate grid through geometric patterns. 

Influences:

A visit to the Cluny museum, where she saw the 1500 year old “Lady and the Unicorn” tapestry, blew her away with it’s beauty and attention to detail, as well as the rich history and symbolism. Another trip up Normandy took her to the 11th century Bayeux tapestry, which colorfully details the Battle of Hastings in a 90m long tapestry, complete with “footnotes” embroidered into the tapestry. This is where the tapestry bug first bit her.

She uses embroidery to investigate a variety of themes and concerns, exploring identity, memory, and culture, and the value of art and craft forms traditionally considered women’s work. Needlework has a long relationship to politics, power, and resistance. The repetitive act of embroidery reduces anxiety, and increase happiness and self-awareness. Historically it is believed that embroidery is a talisman, and thus represents well-being, peace, and fortune. It also means perfection, harmony, and order.

Fun Facts:

  • Annemie used between 8-25m per thread per A4 artwork
  • This concept was 3 years in the making until it came together
  • She is obsessed with water reflections!
  • Embroidery is considered a very helpful tool for mental health
  • She went through quite a few plasters and various smaller pricks during the making of this series
  • It is framed with museum glass which ensures that there is no reflection when you look at the artworks (ironic right?)

This will be an expanding series, due to the sheer volume of the series, and the fact that it is quite time consuming, so she will try her best to not keep you waiting. Watch this space for the exhibition date!

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