Gina van der Ploeg
My interest in the textured and the comforting has led me to weaving and harvesting as ways to connect with tactile materials. My works are created through incredibly labour intensive processes, involving growing linen from scratch on the pavement outside my parents’ house or harvesting hyacinths from various waterways around Cape Town. I also underline my making process with the concept of “ mottainai ,” a Japanese idea that translates as “what a waste!” and results in sustainable reuse that acknowledges the potential of the threadbare, the stained, and the unravelling to be made into something treasured.
The body is central in the making of my work from the labour it performs harvesting and growing to the way my whole body is involved in weaving on my backstrap loom. Thus, my work encourages an empathy and engagement in the viewer that is experienced through how their own bodies relate to, navigate around, and often touch my sculptures. Taking an age old tradition of making clothes, vessels, and sacred objects, I push the act of weaving beyond function, creating forms that are both familiar and strange, thus calling to embodied practices and bodies/objects in motion.