Hello, I’m Snail! I was conceived in 2008, but didn’t come to be in this world until 2010. Yes, it was a hard labour! But I was worth all the time and effort! Still, I’m not here to talk about me, but about my mummy, Sabina Stan, the artist that gave me life. A life that I very much enjoy! You can check out some of my adventures over here. But enough about me!
Sabina Stan was born in Romania, some twenty something years ago, on the sunny summer morning of 11th of June. Or so, they say. She has been creating ever since she can remember existing. That means, roughly, since she was 9 or 10 years old. Even though, literature was her first love, she ended up being a textile artist. How did that come about? Well, she always liked clothes. Figure that out, she’s a girl! She also hates clichés…. *quietly moving along* Anyway, she studied at the National Collage of Computer Science in Bucharest, just because, and then she went at the National University of Arts in Bucharest. There she didn’t study fashion, because she thought she could figure that out on her own or through other means – there are some really cool courses on fashion. Still, she picked something in the textile area, something she thought she wouldn’t be inclined to learn on her own, but fascinated her: Tapestry. You know, tapestries are those things people were hanging in castles in medieval times to keep warm.
She graduated in 2010, after participating in some group exhibitions, among which DECOART 2009 at the Museum of Art Tulcea, and started working in the project West meets East – A cultural book exchange. Her graduation work in an art installation called “The weaver”. When you read tapestry, you didn’t see this coming, did you?!
It is a tribute to weaving. It represents a parallel between nature and human activities, because the weaver is depicted as a spider. The weaved cloths represent the legs and are the work of the artist and the body of the spider is made of spider nests inspired objects. The work suggests that the way and artist is educated stays with him throughout his life and it can be seen in his work. So, no matter, how the artist evolves, where he’s coming from will always be present in his work.
Even if she didn’t do any other big weaved work, the presence of the waver is always felt.
Between you and me, this spider like part of her has always scared me… but it’s where she’s coming from. Maybe I’m just jealous. The spider is like a big brother to me.
After the graduation, West meets East – A cultural book exchange represented a big part in the next two years of her artistic activity. The project represents a correspondence between several artists that exchange art books. This project helped her discover her pleasure in making art books. Although she did some books from scratch, mostly she enjoys recycling old books, giving them a new life, another way to read them. You can see more here. With those books Sabina participated in many group exhibitions in Romania, at UNA Gallery in 2010, the House of the Parliament in Bucharest and Museum of Art in Iasi, in 2011 and the Galleries of Art in Focsani and Museum of Art in Constanta, in 2012.
She also participated in a group exhibition in Warwick, in the US, where I attracted the attention of the newspaper The Unfiltered Lens. Because my story was an art book, at first. I would like to say that I’m not a unfortunate snail, like they said, but I’m very fortunate to be here, talking to you guys! The photo with my story as an art book is from UNA Gallery in Bucharest. And that is Sabina, in the photo. Pretty, right?
Sabina’s love for making art-books allowed her to participate in the project An Inventory of Al-Mutanabbi Street. The project was done after the bomb attack that took place, in 2008, on Al-Mutanabbi street in Baghdad, a street filled with book shops, that resulted in a lot of victims and all the shops being destroyed. The project aimed to raise awareness about those attacks, the importance of being together in time like this and how books and art helps us to do this. You can read more about her contribution here.
In 2012, Sabina started developing a personal technique, that is a form of netting, inspired by weaving. She created a work called “Ties that bind us” with which she participated at the National Exhibition of Decorative Art, at the Museum of Decorative Art Cotroceni, in Bucharest, Romania and at the Museum of Art, in Chisinau, Republic of Moldova. This work turned to something very personal and hard to talk about. Ties that bind us and me, the Snail, are a result of a relationship she had until the beginning of this year (2013). If I survived that break-up, this work is going through a process of degradation and will become “Ties that bind us… tear us apart”. In a way, it survives too, but in a different form. This just come to show that the work of an artist will evolve with him, which makes me think of another ongoing project very dear to me, but I shouldn’t get ahead of myself. The main method of degradation she uses is fire. For Sabina, fire has a cathartic propriety because it can burn away the pain, but it also represents a form of degradation of the memories. In time, Sabina’s memories seem to merge into one another. She realized this after she went in Vienna, in 2010, for the second time, and found the memories from 2008 merge with those from 2010. The most powerful memories from 2008 were the feelings she had when she experienced going to Vienna the first time. To illustrate this she did an art object and an art book called Vienna dreams. The art objects represents collages of her memories from the two trips and as the collages hand lower, they are burned more and more, illustrating that older memories are more faded, but feel more dramatic.
In May 2013, Sabina had the opportunity, thanks to an amazing friend, to be part of an workshop with other artists. She participated at the ORA Workshops in Lecceta di Torino di Sangro. There she met a lot of amazing people and spent 9 days drawing in nature. It was a breath of fresh air and such an inspiration. The aim of the workshops was to help with the promotion of the campaign to support the creation of a natural park in the area. It was great to be part of something that wasn’t about me… her, I mean. It was so relaxing and a great opportunity to be around people that understand and appreciate art.
I don’t mean to bitch… ok, I do, but some people are… unbelievable. They think that if you’re an artist you can do anything art-related. Still, thanks to one of those people she started doing masks. Someone asked for one and Sabina thought, why not give it a try and found herself in love with the process of making masks. She always liked portraits and working on faces. In 2010, she did a make-up art course. She found so many ideas and ways to express through masks that she couldn’t stop working. She participated at fairs for two years with the masks she made.
We find ourselves towards the present days. I have to say, one more thing before I leave you, about Sabina’s current project. It happens to be my favorite project. And at any time the current project will be my favorite project, because the present is my favorite time. It is the time in which I exist. In this project I’m looking for a home. Yes, I have a home… house… I’m a Snail. But I’m looking for the perfect home. It’s not a physical place, but a psychical one. It’s not about how a home looks, but how it feels. The project is called In search of a perfect home and is in the searching phase. I did some textile objects too illustrate ideas that came about how a home should feel for me. One of those objects (in the photo) is called Unfinished and is inspired by the idea that a home is never finished, because it evolves with you and through your life you’re always growing, learning more, changing and a home will change with you to give you the space you need. This textile miniature takes part in the VIII International Biennial of Textile Miniatures, at ARKA Gallery in Vilnius, Lithuania. For this project I retained the netting technique I used for Ties that bind us and I am perfecting it, while finding the perfect place for me as an artist.
You can find the rest of the story by reading this blog. ;D Have fun!