Textiles offer one of the most versatile means of artistic expression. Thanks to their ease of manipulation, there are seemingly endless creative possibilities. Polish textile artist Alicja Kozlowska channels that versatility and crafts realistic embroidered felt sculptures of familiar products and everyday objects. Starting with a felt pattern as her base, she then uses her needle as a brush, painting with thread in order to capture the intricate details and shading that give her Pop Art-inspired sculptures their lifelike appearance.
“As a child, my grandmother taught me to sew and crochet,” Kozlowska tells My Modern Met. “It was from her that I learned the basic, popular techniques. I have since traveled a lot and had the opportunity to see the work of the masters of this art form from all over the world. Over time, gaining more and more practice, I developed my own style.”
The talented artist embroiders both by hand as well as by using a sewing machine with an open toe embroidery foot. Using the machine allows her to employ a variety of stitches. Basing her designs off of mass-produced products with interesting shapes and recognizable logos, she utilizes her artwork as a means to articulate her own ideas and feelings about the widespread consumerism that plagues our planet.
“Painting by sewing for me is the format to address that deeply negative, culturally-constructed indifference,” Kozlowska explains. “By creating colorful and eye-catching Pop Art works, I try to draw the viewer's attention to our surroundings. I show how much and how quickly we are flooded by consumerism, which is artificial in its form and material. I try to influence consciousness because it is the awareness of ecological destruction that is the most important step in the fight for our future and the future of our planet. I try to build a sense of common ecological responsibility and the belief that it is us, and not governments or large corporations, that will change our habits. It is us who must feel the need to change and, through our choices, steer the global industry.”