Welcome to Madstitch – textile art by Ditte Sørensen
Interview from the book ” Danish art prints” Art vs. Design
Like a mad scientist, Ditte Sørensen is a uniquely creative artist who sews up a storm with her trusted old Bernini sewing machine. With a Bachelor in Textile Design, Handicraft and Communication, Ditte stitches into the night with great passion and precision creating cutting-edge pieces by mixing up old quilt art techniques with photo transfer on textile and free motion embroidery. In this mad world, Ditte’s refreshingly unique style leaves you amazed and pondering – are these lines drawn with a pen or are they sewn? Her art cards and selected limited edition prints can be found in local galleries, as well as urban design stores and museum shops.
What inspires you on a daily basis?
There are always stories behind each of my pictures and I suppose they are told with a blink of irony and interwoven like the threads of my machine. Many of the pictures are portraits of the urban and vibrant life of living in Copenhagen and its contrasts. My last series contains easily recognizable architectural views of Copenhagen, combined with the beautiful architecture of the nude female body along with the more negative aspects of modern society like corruption, moral grey zones, suicide, stress and general bullshit!
Can you describe the creative process from inspiration to finished art print?
It’s for the love of the experiment – trying out different techniques starts the creative process of my pictures. I guess you could say it’s a process of curiosity, having one idea of what the picture should express and others on how I could create it. What finally comes out along the way can be an entirely different thing. It always varies and takes shape as I work. Sometimes I prepare or precolour my fabric by using monoprint, screenprint or similar – techniques that have a long working process. That means before the fabric is ready for further treatment, it may have been baked in an oven and dried in a hot blanket over night. In regards to the photo transfer, I either take photos of natural surfaces, such as rotten wood or a rusty can, and transfer these colors to the fabric with glue, then I fix it by ironing, before the quilt and sewing process starts.
Is there a message, a theme or a certain feeling you want to convey through your prints?
I would like to say I tell small stories, but I guess one needs to have a sharp eye to catch all the details of those sewn threads. I prefer people make their own discoveries, but then this interview would be quite short I guess. I see my latest Copenhagen pictures as snapshots of daily life in Copenhagen. They are about what I see and experience in my city and read in the papers, just woven together, contextualized in one sewn picture. It is up to the spectator what he or she thinks or feels about it. For me, it is liberating and meditative to process my city in threads and textiles.
Would you categorize your prints as art or as an interior decoration product?
There is a big difference between the print and the originals, as they are made of textile and because the quilting gives the picture lots of deepness. Meanwhile the prints are flat and lack depth. The originals are sold in galleries as artwork while the prints are sold as interior design.
Is there a link between your prints and you living in Denmark?
I have my studio at Blaagaardsplads in the middle of Nørrebro, the most multicultural part of Copenhagen. Most of my work is inspired by the diversity and liveliness of that part of town, its people, as well as happen- ings, buildings and certain corners of my city.
What’s on your own walls?
Well my mind is pretty messed up most of the time. My agenda is pretty full, as I am self employed and a mother of small children. At the same time I have a tendency to get lots of ideas simultaneously – so I guess I find some stillness in keeping my home free from too much stuff – including art on the walls.