“Bifurcations” is the theme of the 12th Saint-Étienne International Design Biennial.
Bifurcation /ˌbīfərˈkāSHən/: the division of something into two branches or parts.
From April 6 to May 22, 2022, we had the pleasure of being a part of the 2022 International Design Biennale in Saint-Etienne, France. Osei-Duro was invited by our friend and textile artist Marie Colin-Madan to join the Collectif FU, a group of designers, craftsmen, colorists, draftsmen, visual artists, and graphic artists working with yarn and fabrics who come together to promote the textile sector in the region of Saint-Etienne and the Loire. Their mission is to give visibility to the trades, textiles, and share their experiences in common and sharing adventures.
Collectif FU started by asking the participants to work more collaboratively for the exhibition by exchanging materials and adding to each others’ work. To keep all the work visually consistent everyone was asked to include the color yellow in the work they submitted.
Marie Colin-Madan with Noémie Dutel designed an installation titled BIGOULIN SEAT & WOVEN SCREEN to CONNECT UNLINK, driven by the need to move towards more moderation and how to approach contemporary design through a more sustainable lens. They took wood, copper tubing, and fabrics from factories around their workshops and conceptualized a design from these collected materials destined for the dumpster.
As Africa is the guest of honor for this year’s biennale, Marie invited Osei-Duro us to join their installation.
It had been years since we first experimented with scrap weaving but the idea of making a piece for the biennale was enticing.
The point of the weaving was to use as much discarded materials as possible. Including the “loom”. The weaving was done on a loom made from the top of our friend Paul’s (who own’s Circle Wellness in Vancouver) cedar soaker tub. The tub was too high so he cut it off, added some dowel, and gifted it to us.
We used jute twine for the warp, wrapping it around the dowel. For the weft we used old bedsheets that we hand dyed and cut into strips. As well has hand dyed indigo and hand dyed Osei-Duro off-cuts.
The weaving is an exploration of materials and shapes.
As a designer it’s easy to get caught into the cycle of making things that have a functional purpose. The purpose of this piece, is exploration. To make something completely non-function.
Below are some photos of the weaving process ↓