Sober Saturday(s) with Larissa Schepers
a photo by Larissa Schepers
11 am –
3 pm CEST
SEA Foundation, Tivolistraat 22, Tilburg
veggie soup, coffee and tea available
This event is part
of SEA Foundations’ longer-term
research of art and sustainability
fold #09 Empowerment.
The event is free of charge,
organised by artist and the team
of the SEA Foundation.
Tilburg-based artist Larissa Schepers interweaves the textile practice with the social topics. Her most recent urgent themes cover the mental health of the young generation and the practice of care. During the Sober Saturday, the event which is the first of a kind for the artist herself, she aims to create a space where women can collectively create and freely talk about their vulnerability. Friends and strangers are invited to the collective making of a large-size beed artwork which will be exhibited at the Tilburg hospital between July and September 2024.
Artist especially highlights the importance of the preparatory works put into the craft processes and the fact these tasks are often carried out collectively by women. As an example she mentions the creation of rugs by the Amazigh culture who live in Morocco. Before a carpet is woven on the weaving loom by the women of this (semi-)nomadic tribe, they carry out a careful process of handling the natural fibres – the sheep must be sheared, the wool washed, carded, dyed and spun. The ritual which empowers women as makers gives spiritual meaning to this process. By chanting spells and creating connection, they share experiences about womanhood. Men are not allowed to use the loom. It is considered a dead creature and as a carpet is woven it comes to life. When it is ready and supposed to be cut out of the structure, women sing and mourn as the loom is coming to be dead again.
Recreating a vulnerable space
Tradition of women coming together and seeking an emotional attachment is researched by Silvia Federici in the essay called On the Meaning of ‘Gossip’ published in the book Witches, Witch-hunting and Women in 2018. Federici explains how, in the Middle ages, women were forming close communities of friendship and support known as Gossip. Talking with a companion about the hardship of life and emotionally and spiritually sticking together was empowering women who were otherwise deprived from voice in the other spheres of life. However, this word ‘gossip’ was eventually associated with the negative meaning and perhaps because it was seen as a threat to men’s power, the safe space of sisterhood was gradually eroded.
Within modern society we are more than ever in search for connection. Trying to find a community in which we feel safe, heard, protected and taken care of. The emotional experiences may feel hard on us, and sometimes might lead to unhealthy coping mechanisms. Artist Larissa Schepers thinks it’s important to find the power and strength to come together and share those experiences. This can lead to empowerment for yourself and your story. Therefore, she wants to warmly invite you to the ‘Sober Saturday’ event, a group of women that come together and connect with each other through beadwork. A moment where the physical work of creation, creates connection. Let’s take care.
Bio Larissa Schepers
Larissa Schepers (1995) lives and works in Tilburg, Netherlands. She gained a Bachelor’s degree in Textile Designfrom the Royal Academy of Arts, The Hague (2019). After an initial approach to fashion design, she realised that textile art was the medium in which she wanted to express herself in different forms and techniques: from weaving to knitting and embroidery.