Vanessa Oppenhoff – galerie julia garnatz, Cologne
Born 1971 in Cologne, Germany
Sewing, a traditionally feminine occupied medium, has almost entirely disappeared from western necessary everyday actions. Vanessa Oppenhoff has chosen this medium for herself as means of expression and translated it into a contemporary pictorial language. She “draws” with needle and thread. Collage like, Oppenhoff stacks layers above each other: newspapers, photocopies, fabric, correction fluid and on top vellum, a high-quality parchment, which has its origins in the medieval illuminated manuscripts. Remaining threads are not trimmed or hidden, they hang loose and become part of the composition.
Oppenhoff’s contents are taken from western imagery and experiences and play with issues such as interpersonal relationships, nature, science, consumption or city culture.
The same contents are found in Oppenhoff’s short movies, which are seldom longer then 4-5 minutes. They recall the making process of the sewed works and form complex loops that appear to have no beginning an end, even if they have.