The act of a line

Marijke De Cock
70 x 40 x 3 cm / 170 x 140 x 6 cm
Handmade embroidery made of glass beads on linen, mounted on a composite wooden frame
Embroidery and woodwork (by Rodriguez Debal Architects)

The act of a line is a collection of wall sculptures composed of tiny glass beads.

The act of a line
The act of a line

The act of a line by Marijke De Cock is a collection of wall sculptures in which a spontaneously drawn line is the starting point for a dedicated, time-consuming creative process and in which the shapes are composed of an infinite quantity of tiny glass beads. With the rich tradition of a craft, carried out according to an innovative processing process, embroidery techniques are taken out of their subservient role. The elegant silhouettes are based on the spontaneous drawings and doodles that are then entrusted to traditional artisans from India. Once hung up, the self-supporting wall sculptures appear to float.

The jury on The act of a line:

“These particularly beautiful objects stand out thanks to their distinctive combination of materials and excellent craftsmanship.”

How did the idea for this project come about?

Marijke De Cock: After almost twenty years of working in fashion (for Dries Van Noten, among others) I needed a more timeless project somewhere. I wanted to take embroidery out of its subservient role, make it an autonomous medium and give it the lead role. Embroidery that stands strong on its own rather than acting as decoration on a garment.

What makes the project so special?

Marijke De Cock: They are spatial ornaments, monochrome bas-reliefs that combine the intuitive with the rich tradition of a craft. I love the contrast in this project: the shapes based on spontaneous drawings and quick doodles are turned into a traditional embroidery technique. An infinite number of glass beads are sewn on by hand, which is a hugely time-consuming process.

Do you have any further plans for this project?

Marijke De Cock: I think there is still a lot of potential in the crossover of technology and material, traditionally used in fashion in particular.