“…We’re made of the same material, even though the form varies. We fear and desire the same, although each of us arranges it in a different order, same as we mold our sieve alter ego…”

As a contemporary textile creator, Ariane Garnier represents time and culture within the social structures that support and inspire her. Born in Costa Rica and educated as a visual artist, she resorts to a variety of techniques to deliver her message of self-help, growth, and transformation.

Since her first presentation 14 years ago, her discourse has evolved and has led her to develop the concept of joint self-help art, with human homogeneity as center stage. In her talented hands, the term social projection involves making art as well as studying each of the knots that trouble our modern self.

Ariane Garnier: Dress. Sieve, sewing and embellishments.

“We are made of the same material, but we only perceive that resemblance through the sieves of illusion. That’s the reason why we usually consider ourselves as individuals having a unique self, but that perception is made of an assortment of sieves we have set—one against the other—along history until we reach blindness.” 

The above tautological attitude is depicted by Ariane in her metallic threads—“seams and ties exposing our condition clearly.”

Ariane Garnier & Rafael Sáenz: Everyone With All. First prize piece at 4th WTA Biennial of Textile Art&Design, Costa Rica, 2006: "Man+Woman= Creation"

Among achievements is her First Prize at the 4th WTA Biennial in 2206.

Ariane Garnier & Perfect Feather, one of participants at Fuerteventura, Spain project.

She then built her first textile colloquium: Absence/Presence  through a performance/installation in mesh at the 7th Art Encounter in Genalguacil, Spain and, of course, her Women’s Forest project in Costa Rica was most interesting, where low-income peasants as well as higher-income city women designed and wore their own dresses.

Ariane Garnier: Art-Team Building project, Gran Canaria, Spain, 2007.

Ariane’s artistic expression weaves sieves made of several layers of metallic fabric. As “owner of her own Triumphs and Failures,” her social projection is, however, participative art that allows access and growth as a way to transform us.

Ariane Garnier: Women's Forest project participants, Turrialba, Costa Rica.

Together with partner-curator Marcela Valdeavellano, Ariane owns and directs La Zona Entrenarte (The Trainart Zone in English), a gallery/workshop space where they conduct frequent participative exhibitions and self-help artistic events.

I find it interesting that Ariane’s materials are cold and harsh, yet her human makeup is warm and meaningful. “In the end, we’re all the same; and if we’re creative, and if we’re aware, we’ll be able to build together instead of destroying separately…”

Ariane’s contact: 

Ariane Garnier: Air Draft. Sieves and cords, shaped and sewn. 6th WTA Biennial of Contemporary Textile Art, Mexico, 2011.

—Silvia Piza-Tandlich


WTA Biennial: Photos of winning works

The following are photographs of winning works,

Laura Ferrando (Argentina) "Cause Effect Action" - video

which is something—I suspect—we all love to see.

Ana Karen Allende Noriega (Mexico), "I will fight for your dreams"


Anita Larkin (Australia) "Roger I hear you loud and clear”

If you’d like to have the work description for a particular artist’s piece, feel free to request at

Berta Jakubovic Teglio (Argentina) “Divinos Tiempos”

Most of the exhibits will be open to the public for about one more month.

Emilia Sandoval González (Mexico) “Tomado" ((Drunk))

Emily Jan (United States) “Dürer´s Rihnoceros ("A dream of elsewhere)”

Brigitte Amarger (France), "Weightlessness"

Anita Larkin-"Roger I hear you loud and clear”

Gerda Standaert (Belgium) “Woman from Afghanistan – I need air”

The Biennial is taking place in three different Mexican cities.

More than 300 artists participate in this event every two years.

Helvetia Kela Cremasque (Italy) “Anomos, el soplo vital”

Lilian Madfes (Uruguay) “Rojo y Carbón”

Joyce Rosner (USA): "Kite Study"

6th WTA Biennial: Program

6th International Biennial of Contemporary Textile Art

World Textile Art – Air

Mexico, May 16 –June 3, 2011

The first Biennial event will be in Xalapa, a culture-oriented university town known as the “Veracruzan Athens,” sponsored by the Veracruzan University of Xalapa. In addition, the cities of Mexico DF and Oaxaca will also gather textile art creation, research, popular expression, management, and design personalities from all over the world.


International Congress, “Considerations Between Textiles and Society: A Recapitulation”. May 16-19, offers 40 conferences from 28 nations, and five theme tables. Venue: Xalapa Anthropology Museum, May 16 at 7:00pm.

• Mexico DF exhibits: Museum Diego Rivera-Anahucalli, May 26 at 7:00pm.

• Oaxaca exhibits: Centro de las Artes de San Agustín (CaSa), May 28 at noon.

The program includes the following shows: Salon Mini-textiles . Salon Art Object. Salon Large Format. Salon Recyclability In Textile Art, and Salon Collaborative Nets. In addition, the list of parallel shows and workshops is extensive.

Hicks: A Life In Textile

It is a great honor to have Sheila Hicks—pioneer of contemporary textile art—as special artist at the Museum of Anthropology. Her exhibit, “A Life In Textiles” will pay homage to this important artist, who started 50 years ago and still continues to guide the direction of new artists. Hicks has very strong ties with South America since it was our tradition that attracted her to textiles. There is no doubt that Mexico made an impression as well, compelling her to live here for a while near the workshop she created. Mexico is where she had her first exhibit, and among her favorite techniques is the huipil chamula from the Chiapas area.

WTA is creating the Sheila Hicks award, Pioneer In Textile Work, which will be presented for the first time at the closing ceremony in Xalapa.

See the article about Sheila Hicks in American Craft Council Magazine:

Itinerant Artist: Sheila Hicks
Textiles legend Sheila Hicks has never stopped traveling the world and seeking new horizons in her work.


The entire Biennial program can be found at www.wta–

For more information:


The exhibitions comprise

Large Format Salon: work by Ana Mazzoni, Argentina

a surprising number of renown LatinAmerican artists. I am posting a couple of “pre-show” works now, and promise to share more photographs as I receive them.


Invitation: Exhibition “Thread To Thread” (Hilo a hilo), contemporary textile art from Spain.

Thread To Thread

Large Format Salon. Ariane Garnier, Costa Rica. "The Draft". Galvanized wire, embroidery on rubber and mosquito net. 150 x 100 x 100cm.

Beatriz Oggero: Colored Transparencies. Copper wire wrapped with sewing thread. Large Format Salon. 6th WTA Biennial of Contemporary Art.

—Silvia Piza-Tandlich

6th WTA Biennial: Going to Oaxaca?

My work will be displayed at the 6th WTA Biennial’s Salon for Recyclability In Textile Art in Oaxaca, Mexico as of May 28!!!

Silvia Piza-Tandlich: Molecular Composition. Recycled afghan, fused plastic, papel picado, crochet. 2011, Salon For Recyclability In Textile Art, Oaxaca. Photo: Martha Alvarez.

Aside from the obvious thrill of chatting with artists and meeting new people, Oaxaca will feature Carolyn Kallenborn’s premiere of her documentary, Woven Lives, at the Oaxaca Textile Museum on June 2nd, which I really wanted to see.

Unfortunately, making the trip from Costa Rica to Mexico is expensive, and as my husband’s voice of reason sadly tells me what I already know, he also proposes to find “ways to fill the void.”  He’s right!

DVD cover for Woven Lives

While nothing could fill the void of not attending our own exhibit’s inauguration, so it happens that Carolyn Kallenborn does have the film on DVD for sale, and I have already requested a copy.

It also occurs to me that Carolyn has to fly herself all the way to Oaxaca at whatever price airlines charge, and then fly to the SDA Conference where she’s also giving a lecture and showing the film. I therefore, urge everyone to buy the film, and I know we won’t regret it: It’s made in very good taste, contains a lot of valuable information, and the proceeds will help Carolyn continue this type of important research. Last week I posted the film’s trailer, and I’ve seen photographs of Carolyn’s life with this Zapotec textile community in Oaxaca. This film is must-see, must-have! You can go to her website and use the payment options available

Or you can go to Oaxaca and see the exhibits at the Casa de Arte de San Agustín (CaSa) as well as the Oaxaca Textile Museum film premiere. If you go, please take lots of photos and share them with me!

—Silvia Piza-Tandlich

6th WTA Biennial: Documentary in Oaxaca, Mexico

Woven Lives is Carolyn Kallenborn’s documentary to be shown on June 2nd at the Textile Museum of Oaxaca as part of the 6th WTA International Textile Biennial. The weavers who are in it will be seeing it for the first time, which will prove to be a very special moment for them.

Carolyn spent a considerable amount of time in Oaxaca working with these weavers, and has recently finished this wonderful documentary.

I was lucky to attend her witty and fascinating lecture last September at the Costa Rican-North American Cultural Center, where she talked about some of her experiences getting acquainted in Oaxaca, and showed photographs of her community work, as well as the video below.

After the Oaxaca premiere, Carolyn will be showing the film on June 10th at the SDA Conference in Minneapolis.

—Silvia Piza-Tandlich, translation

Carolyn Kallenborn films Mexican textile community life

Woven Lives: Contemporary Textiles from Ancient Oaxacan Traditions examines how traditional art and design play an active role in the cultural sustainability of the Zapotec communities in Oaxaca. This documentary, which traces the development of the weaving process from the first people in the valley to the present day, uniquely blends the perspectives of art, design, business, history, ethnic studies and cultural anthropology. While the textiles are the centerpiece of the film, it highlights the life around the production that creates a sense of connection to the culture, the community, the past and the future.

Textile creator in Oaxaca, Mexico.

The weaver’s work is filled with color and textures from dyes and yarns. The meditative movement of the spinning wheel and swift work of the weaver’s expert hands show a rhythm of motion at the loom that has been going on without interruption for centuries. The workroom is filled with the clack of the looms, the noise of the chickens in the yard, and the voices of the weavers as they speak with pride of their work. Photos can capture an instant. Written words can describe the scene and pass on tremendous amounts of information, but only through movement, color and sound can one really communicate the experience of the process, their connection to their culture and the beauty of their extraordinary textiles.

Visit the website
Documentary Film by Carolyn Kallenborn

6th World Textile Art Biennial in Mexico

This Biennial will take place in the cities of Mexico DF, Veracruz, and Oaxaca. To learn more about this wonderful textile fiesta, visit the WTA website at

Under the coordination of artist and professor Yosi Anaya, Ph.D., the biennial will offer an incredibly long list of exhibitions, conferences, workshops, and a textile congress sponsored by the University of Veracruz. Mexico is, after all, a very textile society with so much to offer.

Carolyn Kallenborn will show her documentary, “INTERWOVEN LIVES: CONTEMPORARY TEXTILES OF THE OLD OAXACAN TRADITIONS.” I can’t wait to see the entire film, which Carolyn introduced last September during the Redtextilia Encounter in Costa Rica.  She will lecture and show the film on June 2 at 8:00 pm at the Oaxaca Textile Museum.