Olga Teksheva is a Russian textile and fiber artist based in Rome. She comes from a fashion background, having worked with multiple collaborators in made-to-measure ateliers, producing unique pieces of garments, and even a capsule scarf collection.
In 2015, she started distancing from the fashion world, finding the necessities of wearable art too limiting. She began to experiment with different materials and deconstructing traditional embroidery techniques. Her current work takes the form of textile art and wall sculptures/installations.
"Dragonfly" series, "Birth of Colour", 150 x 250 cm. Hand embroidery on textile collage, 2020 (Image courtesy of Olga Teksheva)
Dea: What do textiles mean to you?
Olga: Textiles are a fascinating material for an artist. They are very "alive", very expressive, they have their own character and will. At the same time everyone has his or her experience with textiles: we wear clothes every day, textiles surround us in our homes. They make us beautiful, they protect us, they give us comfort... Textiles are very inviting to contact.
Dea: Do you classify as an artist or designer?
Olga: I'm definitely an artist. It has taken me 3 years of studies as designer to realize I really don't want to do design... Better late than never! So, I'm an artist who sometimes makes designer collaborations.
"Fossil Flower I", 120 x 120 cm, 2018. Hand embroidery on textile collage and felt base (Image courtesy of Olga Teksheva)
Dea: What's your background and what lead you to working with textiles?
Olga: My background includes Art History (my field was Japanese art, and I'm still strongly influenced by Japanese aesthetics), Painting, Fashion and Design. I think that textiles let me mix all the facets of my background in a harmonious way.
Dea: Where do you find your inspiration?
Olga: My inspiration always comes from nature. Every pebble or shell in a beach, the bark of a tree, the structure of faded flower petals - everything can be very inspirational.
"Dragonfly" series, "Birth of Form", 120 x 170 cm. Hand weaving, embroidery and beading, 2019 (Image courtesy of Olga Teksheva)
Dea: What's your creative process like?
Olga: My creative process begins with taking loads and loads of photos of every natural detail that I find interesting. These photos can remain in stand-by for a few years before I use them for graphic research. I study natural objects while I draw them, and while I'm drawing, a textile or embroidery idea is born.
Dea: Is there a message or cause linked to your work?
Olga: The only message that can be linked with my work is "Look at this beautiful world". Contemporary art has plenty of important topics and concepts, but people forget too often that, most of all, life is a gift. And the world we are living in is a gift too. Sometimes we should see it with the eyes of a child, full of awe, discovery, adventure and happiness. "Happiness" is the key word to what I'm doing.
Yes, we definitely need to keep seeing the good things in life. Olga's work is such a beautiful reminder of that, don't you agree? Share your thoughts below and on our social media pages! Let's keep supporting our incredible textile community.
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Show Olga some love here:
Web - olgateksheva.com
Insta - @teksheva
Art Rooms Rome 2019, Special Mention category.
Installation "Where the Mermaids Hide Their Tails /
Tales. Chapter II". 2,5 m x 2,5 m x 3 m (Image
courtesy of Olga Teksheva)