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THREADED - LACED BY PIERRE FOUCHÉ

September 11, 2017

The best way to discover something is to stumble across it by accident, having no intentions to find something meaningful and then being blown away. This is how I came to know about the jaw-dropping art/craftsmanship of Pierre Fouché. It was during the project we did with Werner Ungerer, that I got intrigued by the particulars of his work when I first saw the massive woven patterns hanging against the wall. Carefully planned and laced into each other, like the hands of two lovers. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photographer: Ramese Mathews
Art director: Jan de Wet / Annina de Swardt 

Location: Cape Town

 

 

The only way to really understand his work is to experience it in person. No picture can do justice to the size at which it is presented. Some of the work is slightly bigger than a match box, while others hang from ceiling to floor, consuming the space around it. Both, in my opinion, demand the viewer to engage with the nuances of the various scales. 

 

 

Picture credits: WHATIFTHEWORLD

 

 

What fascinated me about Pierre’s work, is the transition of a process. The inception of his work is an emotive exploration. He creates ‘paintings’ which depicts an accumulation of reactions, much like the Abstract Expressionists. He explains that it’s not always an eruption of feelings, but rather a conglomeration and contrast between outburst and containment, expression and content. 
 

 

Photographer: Annina de Swardt

 

 

The paintings are then reinterpreted into, what I would like to call, a code. This code is an abstract representation that is mapped out. There is no definitive way to describe this translation, but I guess you can say it’s a combination of intuitive and analytically deciphering.  The map becomes the basis of what will be the end result. A woven-embroidered-knitted-platted work of art, or as Pierre refers to it… ‘lace'. 

 

 

Picture credits: WHATIFTHEWORLD

 

 

In our own way, we have taken the artists process and technique and placed the emphasis on the one element that is the basis of all his work – the thread. It was important to understand the nature of something so delicate and fine and get to grips as to how one goes about creating something that isn’t functional (in the most basic way put) with a material that is designed to be extremely useful.

 

 

 

 

  

MASK DESIGNS BY JAN DE WET & ANNINA DE SWARDT

 

 

In the end, we designed micro-masks. Unlike Pierre, that interprets his own patterns, we looked to the work of the great masters. By engaging with their work on a much more profound level, we were able to highlight the essence of structure and patterns that dictate their formal composition. 

 

 

 

Photographer: Ramese Mathews
Art director: Jan de Wet / Annina de Swardt 

Location: Cape Town


Pierre’s work is unique because it borrows a skills set dates back many centuries. Working together with a master of the art in Europe, and being inspired by the elderly in his knitting class, he has managed to personalize a mode of making in that is almost impossible to reproduce and ever so delightful.

 

A big note of thank to Aldrin, Vicky and Sarah who shared in our enthusiasm and participated in this work.

 

 

 

 

 

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