Soft Gardens

Landscaping contemporary semiotics in woven Textiles.

Alexia Pedal

Soft Gardens is a weaving project, which is concerned with visual storytelling and the semantic level of patterns. It is a representation of a personal methodology revealing layers of information, which shape the perception of reality and the world of the viewer. During the project a wide spectrum of patterns have been generated and analyzed for its inclusion into the textile narratives, ranging from floral ornaments and archetypical symbols to contemporary pictograms and urban signs. These interwoven patterns create complex independencies, hierarchies and narratives where the meaning gets emphasized by repetition.

In places like Peru, where the artist grew up, the crafting of traditional textiles is directly connected to agriculture and designs often represent natural surroundings similar to Persian rugs representing idealized gardens. The Christian world describes Eden as a garden; it is an organic metaphor for a utopian paradise.

The designs created for this project lead to a dialogue between urban and natural spaces. There is a cultural longing to reconcile with nature and this is attempted with the use of ornamental patterns.

The woven pieces are also notations about urban iconography and travels to internal landscapes. Organic materials such as baby alpaca, cotton and linen are used to create rich surfaces with a highly haptic appeal that underlines the visual expression of the textile stories manifested in a collection of hand-woven one-off pieces. Textile material experiences shape our culture and host language and communication, fostering a sense of community. We cannot warm up with cyberspace yet.