I’m a multidisciplinary artist of opportunity. I collect materials, experiment with techniques & pursue my curiosities. I’m an artist of second chances working with predominantly repurposed materials. I’m a nose-to-tail artist committed to using all of the scrap I generate.
My most recent body of work ‘How to Dismantle the Patriarchy’ is an examination & deconstruction of the power in menswear. Motivated by the increase in false news, a daughter graduating college & menopausal rage, I decided to conduct an artistic but completely junk science examination of the power in menswear. I pushed forward my narrative that the power was in the clothes. Then I stripped the power away through an iterative intervention, thereby dismantling the patriarchy one shirt at a time. To do this I leaned on my traditionally female, very domestic skills of sewing, weaving & embroidery. Subversive stitching as an act of rebellion. I’ve created an army of 100 shirts. It seems am constantly trying to reconcile my leftist Berkeley education and deeply feminist core with my military upbringing.
I consider my practice ‘artistic improv’ with a decidedly “Yes, and…” approach. I’m a textile artist, sometimes; a feminist artist, primarily; an experimental artist, always. Every time the world speeds up, I react by slowing down– working more & more with my hands in an attempt to balance the universe.
Winnie van der Rijn is a multi-disciplinary artist of opportunity– collecting materials, experimenting with techniques and pursuing her curiosities. Her art practice includes textiles, sculpture, collage and collaboration (which she considers its own art form). She plays well with others. Winnie actively exhibits her work throughout the United States and internationally.
A life long learner, Winnie graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 1989 with a BA in Sociology. She has studied printmaking, sculpture, metalsmithing and Marxist theory. In addition, Winnie has explored weaving, machine knitting, bookmaking, altars, exploding picture boxes, automata, shoe making, millinery, sewing, fusing, stamping, metal weaving, resin, riveting, precious metal clay and mixed media. She is wildly curious about how things are made.
Her recently completed project ‘How to Dismantle the Patriarchy’ has shown in various locations including the Textile Arts Center (Brooklyn, NY), Dairy Arts (Boulder, CO), Museum of Sonoma County (Santa Rosa, CA), The New Bauhaus (Iasi Romania), Austin Peay State University (Clarksville, TN) and the self invented Museum of Natural Consequences (New York, NY). Winnie has completed residencies at the Textile Arts Center in Brooklyn, FabScrap in NYC, and Chateau Orquevaux in France. In October 2023 she will be an artist-in-residence at MASSMoCA in Massachusetts.
Winnie, a seventh generation Californian, is currently based in Boston. She and her husband are redefining what it means to be empty nesters.
© Winnie van der Rijn