in the category
Collaborative Award 2020
TEK STIEL is a social artistic project of the city of Genk where artistic co-creation stands central. A multicultural group of women comes together to share their knowledge and craft. Along the way the project takes shape which results in a range of tote bags, made of old fishing nets, beautiful (portrait) pictures and a publication. This co-creation happened with various actors. The pivot figure was product designer Linde Hermans. She was more process supervisor than designer. She built together with Stad Genk; STEBO (who had set up a network ‘iedereenfixt’ in Genk about circular economy) and the centre for women made a parcours. Step by step input was generated to become a concept. Also the realization was a shared story. The women learned each others techniques and applied it into their own designs. This was extra supported by a textile designer, a weaver and several artistic colleagues who taught the women extra techniques. The process took place in the studio, and because there was co-creation and exchange, the participaters got closer and created a bond.
In the beginning the different factors were taken into consideration. On the one hand we had the aspect of sustainability, this is something the city and its habitants focus on carefully. Only rest materials were used. STEBO was the perfect catalytic converter in the direct neighbourhood. The materials were chosen together with the thrift shop Reset. Participants were asked not to buy new material. For the fishing nets Linde Hermans reached out to a local fish farm and a fisherman from Oostende. They provided broken fishing nets that couldn’t be used anymore for fishery. The fishing nets became tote bags.
The bags from fishing nets also represent sustainability. They can be used and reused over and over again. But also the participants were taken into a process of consciousness concerning sustainability and use of recyclable materials. Textile also has a special meaning as a product that connects. The old fishing nets symbolized a kind of safety net and network that slowly but surely was created in the group. The assignment was clear, but the way the bags would be created was still a surprise. Each participant was free in creating the bags, so every piece is unique.