“The most important affect would be the capacity of switching between various cultural and religious traditions, navigating through different cultural realities that for an artist is an extremely rewarding quality.“
The Multidisciplinary Journey of Textile Artist Olga Teksheva
Olga Teksheva was born in Moscow in 1973 and has since pursued a diverse and multidisciplinary path in the world of art. She possesses a deep understanding of the subject, having graduated with degrees in Art History from the Moscow State Lomonosov University in 1996, and later in Design and Painting at Liudmila Ermolaeva Studio in 2006. Her professional background includes experience as a fashion journalist for prestigious publications such as “L’Officiel” (Russia) and “Collezioni” (Russia) magazines, as well as teaching History of Fashion and Modern Art and Architecture History at the National Institute of Design in Moscow. In 2008, she moved to Rome to study Fashion Design and Theatre Costume Design at the Accademia di costume e di moda and graduated in 2011, showcasing her collection at the Alta Roma Fashion Week. However, her interests have since evolved to become focused on fabric manipulation and textile surface design, leading her to transition to the realm of textile art and eventually dedicating herself fully to the pursuit in 2015, forsaking the world of fashion. In 2017, she had her first solo show “Once Upon a Time There Was a Fish Sitting on a Tree” at Villa Pamphili (Rome) and since then, she has continued to gain recognition for her work. Her installations have been featured as a Special project at Art Rooms Rome 2019 contemporary art fair, she has received the First Prize at the international textile competition “Trame a Corte” (Italy, 2021), and has exhibited in various venues across Italy, UK, Slovakia, Hungary, Czech Republic. Furthermore, she had the honor of curating “Surface and Depth”, the Second International show of the Society for Embroidered Work during Rome Art Week 2021, bringing together 69 artists from all over the world, in collaboration with co-curators Catherine Frampton and Felicity Griffin-Clark.
Navigating Cultural Realities: The Art of Olga Teksheva
As a native of Moscow, Russia, Olga Teksheva hails from a multiethnic and multifaceted background. Growing up in a family that comprises of multiple ethnicities and religious traditions has imbued her with a unique ability to navigate and comprehend diverse cultural realities. This has proven to be an invaluable asset in her artistic pursuits. Her grandmother’s sister, who practiced ancient shamanistic rituals of South Siberian origin, has had a profound influence on her art, particularly in the inclusion of a “magic dimension” in her large-scale installations and a deep connection to the natural world and the history of the places she has lived. Her studies in Medieval Japanese Art at university have also had a significant impact on her graphic style, characterized by intricate details, as well as her way of thinking. Since relocating to Italy in 2008, she has been continually inspired by the nearly 3000 years of Roman history that surround her and the wealth of archaeological and historical evidence that it offers.
Her primary focus is on textile wall sculptures and large-scale textile-and-fiber installations that are often site-specific in nature. Additionally, Olga Teksheva often explores the medium of drawing on paper, utilizing abstract graphic studies of natural surfaces such as minerals, leaves, and shells to inform her compositions. These marks and techniques often carry over into her textile-based works, forming a cohesive thread throughout her oeuvre.
What particularly intrigues me about both my textile-and-fiber works and drawings on paper is the potential to craft a captivating, otherworldly experience – a sort of “fairy tale for grown-ups” – where audiences can forget about their everyday concerns and instead engage in play, interaction, and exploration. A particular exhibition, in which I, Olga Teksheva, showcased a crocheted installation entitled “Where the Mermaids Hide Their Tails/Tales?”, stands out in my mind as a particularly striking example of this. A gentleman and his entourage, who I later learned were bodyguards, became enraptured by the installation, diving into the colorful, crocheted waves and taking photographs, allowing themselves to fully immerse in the enchanting atmosphere I had created. It is this sense of wonder and freedom that I strive to evoke in my art.
The Enchanting World of Olga Teksheva’s Textile and Fiber Art
Over the course of her artistic endeavors, Olga Teksheva has observed a discernible evolution in her style. Initially, she found herself drawn towards a highly ornate and flamboyant aesthetic, one that could perhaps be attributed to the influence of her surroundings in the city of Rome. However, as she has progressed in her practice, she has made a conscious effort to incorporate elements of restraint and minimalism, while still maintaining a lavish and lavish visual language characterized by an abundance of colors and textures.
Olga Teksheva is incredibly proud of all of her artistic creations, however, she holds a particular fondness for her large-scale installations, such as “Hidden Treasures.” As an artist who exclusively works alone, the sight of an installation that spans a vast expanse of space, measuring 5 x 5 x 5 meters, evokes a sense of awe within her and the audience. She is humbled by the realization that this is a tangible manifestation of her solitary efforts. Additionally, she is deeply gratified when one of her pieces is recognized on an international level through selection in esteemed exhibitions or winning prominent competitions. A recent example of this is “Dragonfly: Birth of Shape,” which garnered the First Prize in the “Trame a Corte” international textile art competition in 2021.
Bringing Enchantment to Life: Olga Teksheva’s Ambitious Project “Hidden Treasures”
Olga Teksheva’s aspiration is to bring to fruition a captivating and ambitious project that she has conceptualized, entitled “Hidden Treasures.” This installation envisions the realization of a vast, enchanted garden, an immersive experience that would transport visitors to a realm of wonder and enchantment, akin to the childhood sense of awe and surprise when encountering a fairy tale come to life. At present, she is collaborating with a prominent Dutch gallery to bring this project to fruition. While the undertaking is complex and challenging, she is committed to dedicating the necessary time and resources to ensure its successful realization.
Art, for Olga Teksheva, is an integral aspect of her existence, as well as that of her family. They are constantly surrounded by the various manifestations of her artistic endeavors, from sculptures to drawings, sketchbooks, and a plethora of other materials. Her husband, who oftentimes lends a hand in the mounting of her installations, jokingly notes that the spouses of artists are guaranteed a place in paradise, given the trials and tribulations they must endure in their daily lives. Her daughter, too, has taken an interest in the world of art, regularly expressing her appreciation for contemporary works and even organizing her own school art show, serving as its curator.
Furthermore, Olga Teksheva believes that the practice and appreciation of art contributes greatly to one’s ability to engage with diverse perspectives and accept the existence of different realities, personalities, and emotional reactions. It is not simply a matter of tolerance, but rather an admiration for the vast array of variations and expressions that life has to offer, akin to the concept of biological diversity.