Klaas Rommelaere at The Texture museum in Kortrijk
Klaas Rommelaere presents his larger-than-life embroidered puppets in Texture in Kortrijk
Rommelaere is a remarkable artist in many ways. Born in 1986 and now living and working in Antwerp, he uses traditional crafts that require time and skill and combines them with an open, innovative and creative outlook. In this respect, he fits in perfectly with a museum such as Texture, which presents itself as an open house at the intersection of heritage, craft and innovation. In combining both coincidental and documentary topics and thus preserving autobiographical experiences through his artistic work, Rommelaere builds a parallel existence in fragments of his own history. His imagery is firmly rooted in the everyday and the subculture of urban life in Antwerp, with quotes from movies or animes mixed with interpersonal observations, and larger-than-life figures and other sculptures entirely assembled from embroidery and crochet.
All the works in the exhibition are handmade. Since the beginning of his career, Rommelaere has worked with 15 older ladies (the so-called “madames”) who help him with the handicrafts and meet every week in Antwerp, Roeselare and Ingelmunster. For this exhibition, Rommelaere expanded the group of “madames” with textile makers from all over Flanders. About 90 makers responded to the call from the artist and the museum for people to help with embroidery. Because of the corona crisis, this could not be done in a room together, so Rommelaere developed home kits, which could be filled in at home by the textile makers, using their own imagination and choices of colour. From the 1st of July, however, they will sit together every Wednesday afternoon – in small groups and with respect for safety regulations – to continue their work in Texture's studio.