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Estimated production time: 4 weeks
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The source of inspiration for the Herringbone project is traditional herringbone fabric and its design principle. The classic herringbone fabric has a broken twill weave pattern resembling the skeleton of a herring. The fabric is usually woollen and is one of the most popular fabrics used for suits and outerwear.
Leesi’s herringbone version is a photorealistic fabric where the zigzag pattern creating the optical effect is made out of images of herrings (Clupea harengus). On the new version of the herringbone coat, the pattern created by synchronised swimming, as is characteristic of schooling fish, is transferred onto the garment.
Krista Leesi is one of the most powerful Estonian textile artists, whose works are characterised by strong conceptualism, ingenuity and admirable knowledge of history. Her works are full of references to contemporary time and classics.
Leesi creates both witty unique art pieces and practical small series. She has won a number of competitions, including 2019 competition of the Christmas Stamp competition organised by the postal service provider Eesti Post. For the professional work in 2019, Krista Leesi was awarded the title of the Textile Artist of the Year, and has received the same acknowledgement also for the creative activities in 2001 and 2014.
Several of her works belong to the collection of the Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design. Leesi’s work can also be found in the collections of the China National Silk Museum (Hangzhou, China), the Contextile Contemporary Textile Art Biennial (Guimarães, Portugal) and World Textile Art (Miami, Florida, USA).
The body of work in this collection consists of pieces by Greek designers of the mainland and the diaspora, or international professionals who live and work in Greece. As a common theme we tackle the elusive notion of “Greekness” and how this transpires through the work of seemingly diverse and distinct individuals. In our attempt to define “Greekness”, we aim to raise questions about how this plays out in the work presented.
How do Greek designers view their identity? Is it through their effort to decipher their heavy heritage? Is form important in order to achieve a predisposed classic elegance, or is a philosophical disposition towards shape more poignant? Could it be simply a resourcefulness and DIY ethic to make up for the absence of design infrastructure?
How do Greek designers based abroad deal with their background? Could it be that they simply ignore it in order to finally free themselves? Is there a certain amount of innovation necessary in order to channel it into the new environment?
Finally, how do foreign designers see their work influenced by their Greek surroundings? Is it the reference through the use of noble materials such as marble or the abundance of natural light that makes their work unquestionably Greek? Or could it be something else they were seeking when they decided to move here, something abstract like humour or drama? Could their arrival finally mean a departure from Greek heritage’s self-reference?
The pieces that we present might seem ill-matched, but they share an important core element. They are confident in their narrative of a personal story of identity, that is either at peace or against the Greek archetype. Through this communication, they all describe a culturally mature and vibrant scene that is finally extroverted and coming of age.
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