Selected Writings – Anni Albers
When a stroke of inspiration comes along, you ride on it for as long and as far as it takes you. Today, whilst going through research work on weaving, I was brought back to some of the many artists who have been my creative influencers. One of whom I was particularly intrigued by, during the inspirational ride, was Anni Albers, a twentieth-century textile artist and printmaker. Allow me to share some highlights of Anni's writings on working with material, and how she viewed material as a metaphor.
"And this fact leads to a suggestion: we must come down to earth from the clouds where we live in vagueness, and experience the most real thing there is: material."
"But most important to one's own growth is to see oneself leave the safe ground of accepted conventions and to find oneself alone and self-dependent. It is an adventure which can permeate one's whole being. Self-confidence can grow. And a longing for excitement can be satisfied without external means, within oneself; for creating is the most intense excitement one can come to know."
"Most of our lives we live closed up in ourselves, with a longing not to be alone, to include others in that life that is invisible and intangible. To make it visible and tangible, we need light and material, any material. And any material can take on the burden of what had been brewing in our consciousness or subconsciousness, in our awareness or in our dreams."
"How do we choose our specific material, our means of communication? "Accidentally." Something speaks to us, a sound, a touch, hardness or softness, it catches us and asks us to be formed. "
After going through her writings, I realised we all have our chosen 'language', or material. It may be through creating, music, or writings. And in my case, it is through textiles and making art. With what we have, it is completely in our control how we want to invent new working methods and the process of creation is entirely up to the artist. With that, I should remind myself to allow my medium to guide me, and see where it takes us.