Interview Textileartist Sam Pitcher

What or who were your early influences and how has your life/upbringing influenced your work ?

My mother was a painter and beside that always working with textile. Reuse of textile was at first necessary and later on became a condition for her. Already after world war ll, in de fifties and sixties of the last century, my father imported new designed furniture, carpets and redesigned textile from Denmark, Italy, German and England up to Holland. So, as a child I was surrounded by new and experimental forms and materials. In a very natural way I saw and learned how to play with colours, forms and materials. For me it felt quite normal. Later on I realised it was very special to grow up in such an environment. I am convinced it was the best school in perceive, look and feel, partly also by many visits to galleries and museums. Up to the present day I follow and rely on my early insights due to this free education.

What was your route to becoming an artist? (Formal training or another pathway?

After high school I attended a teacher training for textile art, and during the following 10 years I was a textile teacher in Amsterdam, Holland. In the course of this time, my own free work took more and more time (I never stopped creating my own work), schoolwork was less. And I became a self-employed fulltime artist.

How would you describe your work and where do you think it fits within the sphere of contemporary art?

In my work I use different techniques, old and new ones, existing or invented, appropriate to that specific work.  Material is often textile, but I use also paper, thin wood, or plastic materials. In any case the material must be flexible. My work is made up of lots of small elements, together they form the movement I want to express. Theme has always to do with interaction between singletons and mass. One way or the other it´s about contact, communication. Rhythm, order and structure are guidance.

Tell us a bit about your process and what environment you like to work in?

In the privacy of my studio I feel at ease, so there is where I can play and discover. That doesn´t mean that every work immediately succeeds. On the contrary, I often need a long search for the wright expression, accompanied with the hopeless mood that goes along. But precisely this difficult way there, is interesting and instructive. Only then the result of my efforts will lead to a good end.

Do you use a sketchbook?

My little Moleskin always accompanies me. Every interesting word, form, idea, rhythm, memory, smell, movement, sentence, melody, building, thought, or colour is recorded.  Working in my studio I often sketch even further to get a picture.

What currently inspires you and which other artists do you admire and why?

I´m allways touched by simplicity and purity. Less is more. Expressiveness by strong data. I´m admiring artists as Guiseppe Penone, Ferdi Tajiri, Herman Scholten, Jan Schoonhoven (zero)  Lucio Fontana. In music by Johann Sebastian Bach, Simeon ten Holt. In architecture by Mies van der Rohe, Frank Lloyd Wright.

Tell us about a piece of work you have fond memories of and why? (an image of this piece would be great)

It´s an very early piece of work from the seventies, that doesn´t exist anymore. In my dreams I see this work often. Hundreds of little small cushions in shades of white and beige together on a wooden surface. All interchangeable, so getting a new entity formed. Both the image and the work itself disappeared when my house burned down to the ground in the eighties.

How has your work developed since you began and how do you see it evolving in the future?

I think my work becomes more mature, less fixed, more freely, less framed, more personal. I hope to achieve complete freedom. I want to continue to amaze me.

What advice would you give to an aspiring textile artist?

Be yourself, try to image what deeply touches you. And don´t care about  opinions, or what is expected of you in a certain time, from certain people or a certain art movement.

What other resources do you use? Blogs, websites, magazines etc.

My daily pictures. I always carry my camera. All what excites my astonishment, I photograph. On I post my pictures, in relation to my work. In which the laws of nature are related to shape, colour and movement in cultur

Where can we see your work?

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