[Cultural Currents]

Marta Mouka

Marta Mouka co-creates with nature as she seeks expression through her fibre art. “It’s autumn and you are walking on a wet sidewalk,” she says, “and leaves from surrounding trees fall onto the concrete, casting their outlines and natural pigments. It’s this basic science, the alchemy of shapes and natural dyes that directs my art.” She combines ancient recipes, Old World secrets, natural pigments, tannins and irons combined with mordants, moisture and heat are part of her process of dyeing and printing silk cloth. The land surrounding her studio has gardens, plants and trees especially grown for their tints and leaf patterns. Castor bean, cosmos, marigold, the bark of a ginkgo or locust tree, the sepia stain from walnuts add to her source of raw materials. After dyeing the cloth, shapes and colourings of other organic materials are imbedded through a process of eco printing. “It’s then when the work begins to form,” she says. Following an artist’s intuition, Marta guides the silk cloth through a sewing machine holding multiple needles that incorporates a colour blend of fine silk thread lines within the silk cloth. “Look at a meadow and you see nature’s palette of complementary colours,” she says. “While I am stitching, I sometimes glance out of my studio window, sensing my hand being held by nature.”


Story by:
Conrad Beaubien

[Fall 2022 departments]