studio schirm & strauch
studio foundation with Linda Schirmel
Studio Schirm & Strauch, co-founded by Nicole Kiersz and Linda Schirmel, is a textile-focused duo formerly based in Hamburg. Their work revolves around research, experimentation, and storytelling, encompassing everything from fibers to surface and potential costume design.
With a dedication to traditional crafts and their intricate processes, Linda Schirmel and Nicole Kiersz established Studio Schirm & Strauch in the summer of 2020. Their initial project involved a collaboration with Studio HILO and their open-source spinning machine. They utilize locally sourced sheep and alpaca fibers, spinning, weaving and knitting them into their first experimental textile archive. Photography and film are also integral to their work, as they seek to convey textile knowledge and narratives through visual storytelling.
The Claussen-Simon Foundation Hamburg supports their ongoing project, enabling Studio Schirm & Strauch to further explore the boundaries of textile artistry and share their passion for craftsmanship with the world.
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photo: studio schirm & strauch
costume, stage and textile design / 2019 - 2020
"re-member" is a cross-generational dance piece by Teresa Hoffmann and Lina Höhne, designed for an audience aged 8 and above. The ensemble aims to become a pack, immersing themselves in a time before humans existed. Through their transformation into ghosts and other beings, they create a resonant space. Exploring fear and trust, they share vulnerabilities, fostering connections with life's cycles and the world around them.
dance & co-creation: Natascha Golubtsova, Teresa Hoffmann, Ume Horikoshi, Clara Müller & Kadysha N`Diaye
artistic direction: Teresa Hoffmann & Lina Höhne
music: Christine Börsch Supan
dramaturgy: Claude Jansen
costume design: Nicole Kiersz & Teresa Hoffmann
textile design: Nicole Kiersz
stage design: Stefan Pinl
photography & video: Jonas Fischer
research project / 2020 - 2021
"Weaving Concerts" in concertless times is an artistic research project conducted by Nicole Kiersz and Anna Neubert, with the support of the Claussen-Simon Stiftung. This project explores the integration of music and the art of weaving, aiming to create a unique artistic experience. It also seeks to bridge the gap imposed by physical distance and share our collaborative journey with a remote audience - during the covid pandemic.
In mid-April 2020, we embarked on this research endeavor, focusing on weekly changing topics. Each week, Nicole would share a video showcasing her weaving process, while Anna contributed melodic fragments recorded on various instruments. Additionally, we delved into cultural connections between music and weaving, gathering diverse sources for inspiration.
In a playful and collaborative manner, we exchanged materials, experiments, and thoughts related to the chosen topics, resembling a game of ping-pong. These topics included exploring rituals of community, weaving sounds as a form of meditation, incorporating weaving techniques in musical instrument handling, playing with patterns and diagrams, experimenting with synthetic synesthetic synths for weaving beats, and finally, weaving strings to reflect concepts of fate, fade, and "faden" (thread).
Throughout this project, we aimed to push the boundaries of traditional artistic forms and discover new possibilities in the intersection of music and weaving. By sharing our progress and creations, we aspired to engage and inspire a remote audience, connecting through the power of art, in times when physical concerts were not possible.
photo: Nicole Kiersz
video work: Anna Neubert
research project / 2018 - 2019
Thanks to the collaboration between gatomorto and EDA, the abandoned prison in Trafaria was transformed into an artists' haven. From August to September 2018, artists had the opportunity to live, work, and form a unique community within the prison walls. An ephemeral infrastructure was created during this time, including shared bedrooms, showers, and an improved kitchen, using the woodworking skills of gatomorto and plenty of imagination. The project also sparked discussions about the prison's future use, which remains uncertain.
As a weaver, working without a loom presented a challenge. In 2018, I began collecting and archiving the colors of the prison and its surrounding neighborhood through scanning. Additionally, I experimented with natural dyes extracted from beetroot peels and onion skins found in the kitchen. I also created a botanical installation using plants discovered in and around the prison area. In 2019, the residency expanded to include the historical and protected section of the prison, allowing me to harvest resin from 50-60-year-old dragon trees, resulting in a range of reddish hues. Samples were crafted using pre-mordant natural fibers such as silk, wool, and cotton, as well as handmade and rice paper.
During the project, a serendipitous encounter with a former prisoner provided insight into the age and history of the dragon trees. The ex-prisoner toured the prison, sharing his experiences and memories of the space and its garden. He expressed that despite being a prisoner, he preferred it over serving in the military during the authoritarian regime. It was on April 25th, 1974, that the military coup, symbolized by red carnations, overthrew the regime.
photography: Nicole Kiersz & Philipp Meuser