Kustaa Saksi is a Finnish multidisciplinary visual artist based in Amsterdam who specialises in telling graphic stories through models, textile art and installations. The idea of viewing nature from the abstract edges of perception pervades the whole of his work. He constructs worlds made up of playful forms and settings that are paradoxical and disquieting but inviting, out of the ordinary. His work is often surreal and appears out of context. Combining organic qualities with unique and detailed patterns, a rich palette of colours and the experimental use of materials, Saksi creates contemporary spaces, objects and ambiences. Geometric structures often cover the entire visual field: chequerboard patterns, transparent Oriental carpets, tribal motifs, ornamental spherical objets d’art, repeated wallpaper designs, figures resembling cobwebs or concentric circles and squares, architectural forms or decorative cuts of paper, snowflakes, mosaics, spirals and volutes. Using a traditional jacquard weaving technique, he mixes natural fibres like mohair, alpaca, cotton and wool with yarn made of rubber, metal, acrylic and phosphorescent materials to create complex patterns that range from the digital to the analogue. His works have been shown at the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Design Museum in Helsinki, the Museo Poldi Pezzoli and the Kunsthall Stavanger, among other places.
The work presented here was executed at the TextielMuseum’s TextielLab in Tilburg, the Netherlands. Saksi has been working with this team for years, developing weaving techniques, trying out materials and perfecting his unique approach, which he describes as ‘action painting with warp and weft’. In the museum, which is located in one of the oldest buildings in the district, tradition and innovation come together in a marriage of antique machinery and the latest technology. The institution is a place of reference for experts, students, technicians and designers in the field of textiles, who are brought into contact with one another through a series of workshops.