This guy, he also came when you were filming, a tall guy he felts too, and he said to me: “I’ve met many people in the felt world and you have amazing skills” but he said: “You put heart in it”. It really touched me. It’s not about skill. I don’t think it’s about skill. I think that’s what touches people. Good evening everyone and thank you for joining us tonight at Museo del Tessuto. We are moved by your support for this place that is all about Prato’s history and traditions. We are here tonight for the opening of a unique solo show by world-famous fiber artist Marjolein Dallinga. Marjolein’s incredible artworks have taken over the entire museum. These artworks are made of wool, a medium very dear to the heart of the people of Prato, especially those whose lives revolve around the textile industry. This show is such an amazing event for our museum. I am Marjolein Dallinga, I come from the Netherlands I’m a fiber artist I use fiber, wool fiber for me it’s really about the magic of wool when it felts and it’s also about the color so it’s sculpture and painting mixed in one medium. On purpose I did not really go all over the museum, I thought if I do that I lose so much energy and I thought, I’ll just stay where we work and I’m not gonna see the rest, I’m gonna do that when I’m ready. I did that really on purpose because I knew I have to close a little bit into focus so I prepare myself to do the work. What’s the inspiration behind your work? This one? Hm. – Well.. I don’t know if you’ve seen, but there are fourteen pieces around the museum Aha, inside, downstairs too. I worked one year on them, at home. So when I heard that they would spread them around the museum, I wanted to make a connection piece. So I’m working here three days. You see, it’s like a vein… …a root-thing, so I’m gonna go as long as I can for the three days. – Nice. So your inspiration is based on, like human body, or… – Yeah, human body, how we feel inside, and… nature, plants, animals, yeah and it’s also about yourself, about our bodies, we’re the same we’re like nature. And this material is from the sheep, it’s very close to our skin it’s a protein, so it reacts like your skin. If your are harsh, you see it, it feels damaged if you are soft, it looks good. I like that about it. I’ve never felt respected like this as an artist. For me it was just something – I worked one and a half year on everything… quite passionately about this show and I just shipped it and I had only heard they’d spread the work around the museum and I liked that idea, so I had an idea about my residency which made me on the floor right away. It was like… like synchronicity it all went together. The direction of the museum was very sustaining me. Like a gladiator you’re in the ring, I put myself there, I had no idea how it would be received, and it was received with a lot of care and warmth… so I felt super relaxed on the residency. And then when Doris came it really helped. She knows me really well. Then, I become stronger. Good morning ladies and gentlemen, we’re at the Museo del Tessuto in Prato today at a very important press preview for a show that will open this coming weekend. It’s “Garden of Delights” by Marjolein Dallinga, a fiber artist who works with wool felt, a medium that has lots in common with the city of Prato. Yes, it’s great to have this show in our museum. Fiber art is still a very little known practice of contemporary art, in which beautiful works of art are produced thanks to the properties and characteristics of wool fibers. I think fiber art is very relevant to Prato, as combed wool fibers are shaped into artworks through artistic and aesthetic research. The artworks in this show are really interesting and evocative. They are inspired by the painting “The Garden of Earthly Delights” by the early Netherlandish artist Hieronymus Bosch. The artworks have been spread throughout the whole museum, visitors are invited to look around and discover them as they visit all the different areas. Some of them are even displayed alongside pieces of old industrial machinery. We worked very closely with the artist to design such a unique exhibition, in a museum that is also part of our industrial heritage. And it’s also very interesting to see the artist at work on one of her pieces at the museum, for the visitors to see. That’s all from me, back to you in the studio. C’est bon, that’s it? – Yes, that’s it. That’s all. – That’s all. It’s really the art of touch, that your fingers know exactly what they have to do. I really kill it softly, I really do. Yes it’s a bit provocative, maybe but I don’t want to be really shocking, or… as some artists do, you know? And I also think that, in our world, we’re so much in the virtual world and this is very literal art. It’s hands on, it’s not complicated. It’s also a balance of masculine and feminine, absolutely. It’s all in the work too. I still really like this material for it, yeah. I’m not finished with it. I really felt it completely. To get there, physically, it’s like… someone says it’s a ‘kick experience’. I’ve done it so often and it’s not something you can do tomorrow if you’ve never felted, but that’s the twenty years of felting. I come almost in a sort of trance to do it, but it’s a limit of where your body can hold it and… the weight of the whole material. Because I was so very relaxed and it was a nice room, the light was just really great so I got in a sort of trance and I think it’s a dance of the wool with your strength. That’s why I don’t like to use machines, it doesn’t give the same effect, it becomes really more beautiful if you do it by power because I go slowly in the process, and then harder and harder and harder. But it’s like when you do a physical experience I think, like a sport experience, or dance, or lovemaking. And I feel it, but then I don’t get tired. I like to find that balance of what you can do, finding my own strength and how far I can take it, and I think I can push further if someone helps me. Then I can let it grow more… yes. You’re cutting all the threads…? – Yeah. So, I think that felting for me is that. And having it in a museum context is a huge difference than having it in a commercial art gallery and it’s not just about me, it’s about a relationship with the museum and your Prato textile tradition. So there was no pretension, but at the same time, there was a message and the museum, I think has the same, and it came just together…. nice. Head up! Head up! We see the light! We see the light… Head up! Head up! Good evening ladies… and gentlemen… Thank you all for coming. It’s pretty overwhelming to be in here, in Prato it’s a huge compliment for me. I’ve never received so much respect, as an artist in this beautiful museum… so thank you all for coming to the show. And later Marjolein will tell us more about her artworks.