is a visual artist with a background in medicine.
For Auch, the worlds of art and medicine are intextricably bound together with both professions requiring the same core skills: a knack of understanding humans and their environment, scientific curiosity, heightened haptic senses and well-developed spatial orientation.
She studied weaving at the Amsterdam Gerrit Rietveld Academy and with master weavers Margot Rolf (1) and Randy Darwall. Following the ground breaking ideas of weavers like Rolf, she says:
“I have taken weaving out of it’s traditional context and use it as carrier of ideas, emotions and construction techniques. Weaving is the oldest binary crafting technique and easily translated into computerprograms. My hands however, are the sensitive connection between machine, knowledge and creativity. Weaving has an intellectual and a manual side.”
In 1999 Auch experimented at the Textile Museum Tilburg on the newly installed computerized Dornier looms. Yet her fascination and expertise lie in handweaving on a digitalized loom: ‘It gives me freedom for experimentation with exceptional, smart materials and forms.’
She received scholarships and stipends for masterclasses with Yoshiki Hishinuma and Warren Seelig. Since 2003 she researches the "intelligence of the hand" using practice based projects, i.e. Stitch-Your-Brain project.
Important input stems from her extensive interviews with artists and designers about technical aspects of making art, which are published regularly.
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“After so many years of studio practice, a symbiosis between my scientific and art skills has grown, I am a true hybrid - a mixture of science and art.” Auch makes no distinction between the various forms of her creative expression, intellectual or visual. The success of her work stems from this unlikely pairing of interests:“I do not think that art, intuition and science are separate ways of thinking.”
1 In 1923 the Dessau Bauhaus closed it’s doors under threat of the Nazi fascist movement. Bauhaus weavers emigrated to the USA and The Netherlands. Kitty van der Mijl Dekker taught weaving at the Amsterdam ‘Instituut van Kunst Nijverheid Onderwijs’, which later became the Gerrit Rietveld Academy. Her students, Margot Rolf and Anne Mieke Kooper are teachers of Weeflab founder Monika Auch.
Honoring this legacy, Weeflab wants to profile weaving through the Weaving Manifesto and it’s aims.
photo credits Ray Edgar