November 24, 2013

10 Questions with Mariana Frochtengarten of Nana Fro

My name is Mariana Frochtengarten, I was born in Brazil and have been leaving in Canada since 2006. I am a textile artist and teacher. I graduated in Fine Arts and Education from Fundação Armando Álvares Penteado (São Paulo, Brazil) and I have a master's degree in Fine Arts (Textile Department) from NSCAD University (Halifax, Canada).
I have been living in Vancouver  since 2009, when I started my company Nana Fro Textile Art. My work was a continuation of what I was making in Brazil, which   
includes until today mostly objects for the body and the home. 
I have a passion for textiles and I have always been particular captivated by the different kinds of resist dyeing methods in which patterns are constructed by preventing dyes or discharge agents from reaching certain areas of the cloth.
For a few years I have been working mainly with shibori on natural and stretchy fabrics, bringing a contemporary approach to traditional time-honored techniques.

When did you start your art practice?

 My first closer contact with textiles happened in 1992, when I was finishing high school. I took  a course in the ancient art of batik and immediately fell in love with the technique. What primarily started as a hobby became my professional activity,  which evolved throughout many different routes in the textile field.

What is your creative process like? Where do you draw your inspiration from?

When I started working with batik I referenced Modern painters and existing patterns quite often, as well as graphisms from different cultures. My process was oriented by the use of simple lines and shapes, and very vibrant colours.
Throughout the years, especially after I started working with shibori, I have learned how to work in partnership with my materials, allowing fiber and liquid media to respond to my acts according to their own qualities. I combine my initial plans with elements of chance and the unpredictable responses. My inspiration nowaydays is mainly based on the idea of layering colours and shapes to bring visual depth to my fabrics. I play with an infinite number of possibilities and I constantly plan each step of resist dyeing based on the outcome of the prior one.

How has your art practice evolved over the years?

I started learning batik in 1992, when I was still in high school. When the course finished I bought all the necessary materials and tools to start working on my own. After some “trainning”  I started to receive orders from colleagues and friends and soon I was selling my work in fairs and shops. Since then, I never stopped working with textiles. Three years later I started to get involved with teaching as well.
I have always been mainly interested in resist dyeing techniques. I worked with batik on paper and fabric for 17 years, producing functional objects for stationary, home furnishing, and fashion. For a few years I have been working mainly with shibori and I continue to produce objects for the body and the home. 

Describe what you will be bringing to SFM this year.

Scarfs made of a beautiful raw cotton Indian fabric, 100% cotton onesies for kids between 6 and 24 months, stretchy tulle armbands and tops, leggings and tights.

How man years have you participated in SFM?

This is the second time I am participating in the show.

What's new for this year at SFM? 

The scarfs, onesies, and the stretchy tulle armbands and tops.

What's your favourite thing about the SFM show?

I like the fact that it is a small show with artists that you can see were carefully chosen. I find the overall quality of the show is excellent and I like the personal atmosphere that fills the space during the show. 

Who are your favourite artists?

Two names that come to my mind now are Ernesto Neto from Brazil and Toshiko Horiuche from Japan. They both work with fiber in very large scales, exploring the material in very unusual and sensual ways.  

What are you listening to in your studio?

I listen CBC quite often and lately I have been listening to my collection of Brazilian music cds, which I hadn't  listened to in a long time.

What other creative outlets do you enjoy?

Travelling, meeting new people and experiencing other cultures.

Keep in touch with Mariana:

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