Saori weaving: Femke Lemmens

14 October – 16 December 2017

Femke Lemmens uses natural fibres and naturally obtained colours, to create weaves with a certain lightness and movement. Creating her own colours at home from plants and kitchen waste, has become an engaging and integral part of her whole process.

For the weaves in blue, red, and russet, the artist was inspired by the blueish cold evening air coming down onto the red of the Alpujarras mountains in Andalucia, southern Spain. While dyeing, the scarves were strung up in a woven shibori technique, then unfolded after they were dry. This has contributed to the ripple effect of the colours.

“Weaving can be a very momentous expression for an artist. Changes along the way lead to new inspirations. We end up slowly growing something true to who we are. The products of this kind of SAORI weaving are alive.”

— Femke Lemmens

Saori weaving

 Scarves by Femke Lemmens on show Upstairs at GroundWork
Some beautiful wool and cashmere Saori-woven scarves by Femke Lemmens.

Femke enjoys the age old traditions in this interplay between dyeing and weaving, which fits perfectly with the freedom she has discovered through SAORI weaving.  The term was invented in the 1970s in Japan by Misao Jo. SA comes from the word “SAI” in Zen vocabulary: everything has its own individual dignity | ORI means weaving. 

Misao Jo was the first to realise that irregularities in her weavings were an expression of her creative spirit, and should be seen as positive expressions of her personality, not as imperfections. As a teacher, she encouraged her many pupils to explore freely as young children do, to see everything with wonder, to break with convention and be true to their instincts.