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Renilde de Peuter: At Swim Two Birds


Informed by the fathomless themes of nature, texture, detail and light, Renilde de Peuter makes textile creations and compiles a visually poetic blog under the guise of ‘At Swim Two Birds’. Flann O’Brien wrote the modernist novel At Swim-Two-Birds in 1939. Peuter shares the author’s affection for alluring allusion and cross-reference. Her work is featured in Design Notes in COVER magazine issue 39.

Many of the cushions and wall hangings she creates are direct reflections of what she has seen and photographed on walks. The Belgian textile artist describes herself as ‘a collector of impressions’. This statement is beautifully illustrated via her website, where endearingly enthusiastic and thoughtful statements accompany eclectic combinations of inspirations: ‘Crows attacking a buzzard’; ‘Just a mix of pictures and a press cutting’.

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‘Nothing in nature is entirely flat. There is texture in everything’ she muses. This recognition and curiosity about the detail of a surface is translated into spectacularly organic, painterly cushions. These are compiled from yarns ‘from just about anywhere’ using the Smyrna stitch. The method suits the artist’s urge to hoard and recycle, incorporating a mixture of materials and offering a freedom that celebrates impermanence. Knots are removed and replaced, built up sporadically when the inspiration arises.

If a work gets stuck, it is left alone for a while, to be returned to another day with fresh perspective. ‘Interactive tapestries’ are currently being explored – suggestive of growth and expansion like a living organism that evolves along with the owner.

At Swim Two Birds one-off Smyrna cushions are available online at Atelier Solarshop, Mr Kitly and Uguisu Store.

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