Meet Patricia Waller, indeed. I am so excited to bring this unusual and totally morbid textile art to the Pop Shop America blog. Miss Waller has been growing her body of work for longer than I’ve been alive, and I am so grateful for her persistence and commitment to her craft! The pieces are so twisted, yet enjoyable, and you can’t help but stare. Tragedy, like beauty, really is in the eye of the beholder…
Hi! Please tell us a little about yourself and your artistic background. Where are you from? Where are you now?
I was born in Santiago de Chile, and I moved to Germany when I was 6 years old. I studied sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Karlsruhe (Germany) and got my diploma and Master’s Degree in 1990. In 2008 I moved to Berlin, I like the vivid art scene here.
What inspired you to make large-scale, conversational crocheted sculptures?
I got the idea of crocheting my artworks during the final period of my study. I was looking for materials not yet established in the arts, such as wood, plaster, or metal. In addition I wanted to become independent from machines and electricity supplies. In my works there is often a lot of blood. Blood, in this exaggerated and bizarre manner, stands in contrast to the material, wool. Due to the technique of crocheting and the selection of the subject-matter, my works seem harmless at first sight. But if you take a closer look, you will discover biting irony and a strong dose of nastiness.
What has been your overall concept and inspiration?
I often work in series and it is important for me to reflect the time and the society I live in. I work over social fields like family, religion, research, medicine, technology and culture. The humor I play with, is of course a rather dark one. Macabre or biting topics are all clothed in crochet works. In a subversive tongue-in-cheek manner, I mix together the absurd and the bizarre, careful observations of everyday life and an interest in humanity, to create the different phases of my work.
What’s your process like when you start a new project? Do you like to sketch and plan or make freeform patterns?
I don´t make patterns, but of course I have to make a concept before I start. As you can see all my works are handmade and it takes months to finish a piece. Many artworks are very difficult to create, for instance Miss Piggy, she is almost 2 meters high. In times of mass production it seems almost paradox to produce something by hand, in handiwork. Through these processes I question the value of work made by hand.
What’s your studio or workspace like?
I work at home, and of course I have a lot of yarn in my studio, approximately 500 balls of yarn. So I can be sure that I never run out of yarn…
You’ve been in the art “game” for over two decades now. Is there any wisdom you’d like to pass on to emerging artists?
Don´t get confused by the art scene. Just make your artwork, and believe in yourselves.
What makes you happiest in life?
Swimming in the ocean.
To learn more about her work and exhibitions please visit www.patriciawaller.com.