Based in Amsterdam, Dutch textile artist Alexandra Drenth hand stitches intricate textiles filled with female forms, gardens, flowers and words. Inspired by the natural world, poetry and song lyrics, her work reflects a female perspective, storytelling the experiences of women’s lives mixed with elements from nature. Alexandra’s textile collages, wall pieces and panels are incredibly detailed, reviving not only the tradition of hand stitching but also by reworking old and pre-used textiles, she instils her work with an inevitable link to history. Alexandra was originally a photographer and artist working mainly in oils, but in 2007 she became fascinated by the possibilities of textiles after working on a large embroidery project. Inspired by themes as diverse as ancient China and Japan to the diaphanous costumes of the 1920s/30s, she uses simple lines and stitches focusing mainly on outlines and silhouettes to tell her story. Large pieces can take anything up to 2 years to produce. Alexandra admits that she is not commercially driven, for her the commercial aspect removes the enjoyment from producing her work. As a result, she will only exhibit at venues where she is invited as an artist rather than as a selling opportunity. She works mainly to commission for private clients with a recent project to make a garment from clothing that had belonged to her client’s deceased mother. Alexandra created a kimono jacket which proudly adorns the wall of the client’s home.
On Alexandra’s Youtube channel she has produced a short film entitled ‘Experience Quality Time’. Images of Alexandra’s work are set against poetry and phrases in Dutch extolling the wonders of time experience which is very much the essence of her work.
Kate Grinnell - Selvedge Magazine august 2019