Kustaa Saksi started as an illustrator, but these days he’s obsessed with weaving: “I’ve been studying the craft for the past few years and I feel great working with tactile materials. I’m trying to reinvent tapestry and bring it back to its glory.” His 2013 collection, Hypnopompic, was his first collaboration with the Textiel Museum and the launch of that effort, where he blends surreal illustration with jacquard weaving techniques to create whimsical contemporary tapestries. The name refers to a state between dreaming and wakefulness, where elements of one consciousness bleed into the other. “I think my ideas of nature seen from the abstracted edge of perception pervade all of my work.”
Artwork by Kustaa Saksi
Tapestry by Textiel Lab
Event Production by Hugo & Marie
The Jacquard weaving technique was invented by Joseph Marie Jacquard (1752–1834) for its “magnificent control” over detailing, color, and material combinations. Kustaa is especially keen on using natural mohair and alpaca wool, cotton and linen, and contrasting them with synthetic hi-tech materials, such as glow-in-the-dark phosphoric and metallic acrylic threads for an extra depth. “I’m producing my designs and artworks only in small editions to keep it exclusive and highest possible quality.”
Kustaa experimented with phosphorescent materials and executed a piece that was woven almost entirely using glow-in-the-dark materials mixed with reflective yarns. Using a light source and animated footage on top led to interesting results in pursuit of an effect that mimicked the insects’ behavior at night.
Since Hypnopompic, Kustaa has released two more collections of tapestry: Reveille (2014) and Woolgathering (2016). Each collection consists of pieces inspired by dream-like hallucinations.
The artist was born in a small town called Kouvola, in the South of Finland. He is currently based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.