Sabina Mariana Stan
I studied textile art and design at the National University of Arts Bucharest, Romania. For my graduation project I wanted to create something that would show how I view the artist. Because I studied tapestry, I looked for inspiration at the spider. I documented different types of spider webs and used them as inspiration to create six basse-lisse fabrics of one meter length and six meters long, each. During the documentation, I also focused on the cocoons, which I recreated at a larger scale into papier-mache objects, to form the body of the work. They represent the place where the artist is coming from, the main source of inspiration for her works. The fabrics coming out of the cocoons to form the legs of the work suggest that the artist is made of what she creates. The installation is called The weaver and was exhibited at the Romanian Academy Library, Bucharest, Romania in July 2010.
In 2010, I was invited to take part in the project West meets East – A cultural book exchange with another six artists (Daniela Frumuseanu, Joanne Luongo, Stela Lie, Naomi Sultanik, Manette Jungele and Kavita Singh Kale). We made art-books that we sent to each other to complete. Since then the project has evolved and includes many more artists. Although in the beginning I was making the entire book, now I prefer to use books that are damaged or that would otherwise be thrown away. This way they get a second life. For some books, I use fibers to sew the pages and create new stories for them to tell and for other books, I weaved covers for them to wear in their new life. The works in this project were exhibited as follows:
- It’s a snail snail’s world at Warwick, USA, 14th September – 14th October 2010
- It’s a snail snail’s world at UNArte Gallery, Bucharest, Romania, 1st November – 1st December 2010
- Caught in words at the Art Museum, Iași, Romania, 10th – 20th September 2011
- Inside stories at Parliament House, Brancusi Hall, Bucharest, Romania, 10th – 28th October 2011
- Inside stories at Art Galleries Focșani, Romania, 24th of January – 15 th of February 2012
- Weaved waves at the Art Museum, Constanta, Romania,1st – 30th August 2012
- In the memory of… at the County Library “Marin Preda”, Alexandria, Romania, 1st – 27th of March 2016.
- In the memory of… at the Art Galleries Focșani, Romania, March-April 2016
I participated in organizing the exhibitions DecoArt 2009 (Tulcea, August 14-September 14), West meets East (Bucharest, November 1 to December 1, 2010), the Wall for Peace (Bucharest, September 12 – September 18, 2011) and Books for the Soul and Mind (Constanta, Museum of Art, 1st to 30th of August 2012). My responsibilities included arranging the exhibitions, photographing the works of art, doing the exhibition catalogues for two of them, as well as posters and flyers, accompanying from the airport the artists coming from abroad.
In 2012, I made three books for An Inventory of Al-Mutanabbi Street. Al-Mutanabbi is a street in Baghdad, Iraq, that in 2007 was the unfortunate place of a car bombing. This project was started in support of the victims and to spread a message of peace and the importance of books for the street was and remains the cultural centre of Baghdad. The three books I made open up like an accordion revealing with illustrations and collages the way the street was before the 2007 incident and the way it was rebuilt after, combined with words sending a positive message, written in Romanian, Arabic and English. This project resulted in several exhibitions.
In 2012, I made an art installation in which I experimented a form of netting rope that became representative for my works since then. The installation is called Ties that bind us and represents the invisible connections between two people in a relationship that feel almost tangible. This work was exhibited at the National Exhibition of Decorative Arts, Cotroceni 2012, Bucharest, Romania, 27th November 2012 – 14th April 2013 and at the National Museum of Art, Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, 25th April – 10th June 2013.
I attended the ORA Training Course at Lecceta di Torino di Sangro, Italy, (May 25-June 3, 2013). I was part of the workshop for Graphics and Video, during which I made comics for children and drawings for promotional and educational material (studies after animals and plants and a logo to promote the future natural park in that area, using coloured pencils and watercolours).
In 2013, I started searching for my Perfect Home. I used as inspiration the shell of the snail because I consider a home as a state of mind rather then a place. It is something I carry with me all the time like the snail carries its shell. The search resulted in several textile objects made of netted rope, each revealing something about what the perfect home should be. Of these objects, I took part at The VIII International Biennial of Textile Miniatures “Thoughts – that is…”, Gallery Arka, Vilnius , Lithuania, 7th – 28th September 2013, with Unfinished, representing the fact that a home is never finished, it grows as we grow, both physically and spiritually, and with Three friends at the International Textile Art Biennial – 21st of February – 1st of March 2015, KUNSTSTICHTING PERSPEKTIEF VZW, Haacht, Belgium. I found the prefect home in the image of the scaliform variant of a snail shell. A scaliform variant is a shell that instead of having the whorls tightly coiled has space between them. I chose it to show that perfection is something relative to each of us, not a notion generally accepted. This shell was an inspiration for the Three friends, the Lovers and for the Perfect Home and its Guardians (which are still work in progress).
In 2015, I created a miniature for The IX International Biennial of Textile Miniatures “Out of the box”, Gallery Arka, Vilnius , Lithuania, 19th of June – 11th of July, 2015. This miniature is composed of a netted rope box in which there is a cardboard box with toys, of which one got out into the netted box, but it is being pulled back by the ones still inside the smaller box. It is called Ideally-Make your own box. The bird toy above the netted box represents the Ideal which is something to aspire for but not necessarily to be reached. I thought since I like saying I am still a child, there is no better way to show that then to include toys in my works. Each miniature made like this is accompanied by a story you can find on my blog under the category A kinder world.
I participated with Artist’s hands at the 11 International Biennial Exhibition of Contemporary Textile Art “Scythia”, June 15-26, 2016 Kherson, Ukraine. This is a self-portrait represented by an object moulded after my hands with handmade paper. I’m holding a clew of rope, which is what I use most in my works.
At the exhibition “Textile for Young”, I take part with Bounds increase creativity, an object made of netted rope placed inside a frame, representing the idea that obstacles make us more innovative.
I made a miniature for Miniartextil 2016 – To weave dreams that was be exhibited at the San Francesco Church in Como, Italy, from 1st October to the 20th of November 2016 and at Le Beffroi, Montrouge, France, between the 22nd of February and the 19th of
March 2017. The miniature is part of the project “A kinder world”. Each miniature in this project tells a story about the good things in life. “Dreams come true” represents the waves of life painted in rainbow colours by the characters caught within. You may not be in full control of where life takes you, but you can choose the way you want to live it.
In 2016, I made a book-object for daDA exhibition at Gallery, in Bucharest. The exhibition was organized in celebration of 100 years of Dada and I named my book, Infinity book in tribute to Brancusi. It turns out the book is really infinite, in that it can be continued forever. It is a shelter of inspiration, a land of freedom where I can make all the combinations and compositions that cross my mind. At Gallery was exhibited the first chapter and one year later, at “Theatre under the moonlight” Festival at Quantic Pub, were exhibited four chapters. The first chapter was also presented at Texpoart – Hybrid at Universitas Gallery in Iasi and the Biennial of Book-object at the National Museum of Romanian Literature.
The Perfect Home is the result of three years of work. Started in 2013 as a search for what a home means to me, it became something unexpected in that home is not a place outside of me but within me. Like the snail, I carry it with me everywhere. The installation was completed in 2015 and was exhibited at “Theatre under the moonlight” Festival at Quantic Pub in 2017. However, it looks best in nature.