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Irina

About

I was born in 1983 in North Rhine-Westphalia. I grew up in Berlin, where I moved with my family in 1986. 
One day a friend of mine painted a picture from a photo to apply for the visual communication degree programme. At that moment I realised that I wanted to become an artist and I decided to apply to study art. It was a moment when I felt what art meant to me, that through art I could visually represent my way of seeing the world, my way of thinking, and that I wanted to use this power. My great motivation for me was also to create, preserve and pass on something beautiful, such as craft traditions.

I was very excited about the Berlin University of the Arts (UdK) when I first visited, because of the beautiful old building and the garden, it felt like the right place for me. I applied and everything seemed to fall into place.

My first tools were an analogue camera, drawing and painting materials. I learned analogue photography better at the UdK and through my friend, who was studying photography at the time. We developed our colour photos together in the lab where he worked, and my black and white photos could be developed in the lab at the university.

I also work with Super 8, medium format cameras and expanded my knowledge in film and video shooting. I studied New Media in the class of Hito Steyerl. During my year abroad at the Art Academy in Helsinki, Finland in the Time and Space department I also worked with sound. I took a course there with Shinji Kanki where we built instruments with electronic piezo components and worked with sound.

 

I finished my art studies as a master student in Hito Steyerl's class with my multimedia installation consisting of photography and an installation with sound and a birdcage. The photographer Andreas Mühe bought the photographs of my work.

 

I had a great interest in the traditional craft of textiles, especially weaving. In Berlin, I had seen an exhibition of textile works by an artist who had studied in Sweden. I decided to study fashion design because I could learn different techniques there and I had already become aware of Frank Leder, a German fashion designer, during my art studies, who inspired me a lot. I contacted Frank Leder and applied for an internship. Fortunately, I was able to do an internship with Frank Leder.

 

I went to Amsterdam to study abroad and learnt a lot about different techniques. Especially the pattern making and draping of clothes on a mannequin was taught intensively there, but also the creation of digital patterns with the creation of 3D models with which the direct visual realisation of a garment in a fabric can be represented.

 

I completed my studies on the topic of producing a valuable fabric. My product is a handwoven stole made from Baby Brushed Alpaca which I sourced from a Peruvian alpaca farm. The yarn is brushed which makes it similar to mohair yarn, which is particularly unsuitable for weaving. And I was advised against it by Dagmar. But I fell in love as soon as the yarn from Peru arrived. It was the most beautiful yarn I had ever seen. I quickly became aware of the problem with this yarn; it got tangled together when weaving because of the fine hairs it had everywhere. I had to develop a special technique to weave it, this technique based on different patterns required a lot of patience and separating the panels by hand. But all my time and effort invested in making this stole was worth it.

 

Alpaca has special properties and is also suitable for people with allergies to animal hair. It is hypoallergenic and contains less lanolin (wool fat). The properties of the alpaca fiber is that it has an insulating effect due to the living conditions of the alpacas, which have to adapt to extreme temperature differences, from - 30 degrees to + 30 degrees. This means that the alpaca fiber keeps you warm when it's cold and cool when it's hot. The alpaca yarn I use comes from the ecologically friendly yarn line from Michael & Cia in Peru. I learned to weave with a table loom from Dagmar from Handgewebt in Berlin. I completed my thesis by founding my own sustainable model label IK. The stole is the first product from my model album IK and is called My Babies Stole because the Baby Brushed Alpaca yarn is so soft and delicate that you feel so comfortable and warmly snuggled up, something like being in the arms of a loved one.

About 3 years ago I went to Lisbon to learn more about the textile traditions in Portugal and to further develop my independent work as an artist and designer.

 


 

Exhibitions

2009 Exchange Student Exhibition, Work: Equality - Photographs printed on paper. Kaiku Galleria, Helsinki, Finland.

2010 Film stage: experimental, narrative, documentary, media art: new works from the UdK, curated by Thomas Arslan and Michael Busch. Foyer, group work with Kornelia Kugler and Hanna Bergfors: Wissen wir heute, dass die wehenden roten Fahnen damals peinlich waren. Volksbühne am Rosa Luxemburg Platz, Berlin, Germany.

2011 Graduate Exhibition. Work: Ein Film über Sehnsucht. University of Arts Berlin, Germany.

2012 Meisterschüler Exhibition. Work: Sehnsucht - Photography, Sound,  Empty open Birdcage. University of Arts Berlin, Germany. 

2023 Resident Artists from A Base. Work: Student - Wood, Yarn of silk, cotton and linen, wood stool. Pavilion 31 at CHPL, Libon, Portugal.

Education

10/2006 - 07/2011 Graduate. New Media Class, Hito Steyerl, University of Arts Berlin, Germany.

10/2011 - 07/2012 Meisterschüler. New Media Class, Hito Steyerl, University of Arts Berlin, Germany.

10/2014 - 09/2019 Bachelor of Textile Design. Founding a company for fashion and design: Natural Fiber. University of Applied Science - Berlin, Germany.

Internships and Practical experience

02/2012 - 04/2012 Internship: Organisation of the open studio, artist presentations with locals and artists in residence, research for my masterclass project. Mustarinda Artist Residence, Hyrynsalmi, Finland.

12/2014 - 01/2015 Fashion Design Internship - Menswear. Frank Leder, Berlin, Germany.

12/2015 - 04/2016 Hat Atelier, Work in the Atelier and Sales Advisor. Rike Feuerstein, Berlin, Germany.

08/2017 Textile Internship: Design of the fashion trend forums. Munich Fabric Start, T Cologne, Germany.

05/2016 - 09/2017 Sales advisor and Brand Strategies. Melampo by Lulu Poletti, Berlin, Germany.

03/2017 - 07/2017 Fashion Design Internship - Womenswear. Cruba, Berlin, Germany.

 

Experience abroad

09/2008 - 05/2009 Exchange - Finish Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki, Finland.

01/2018 - 07/2018  Exchange - Amsterdam Fashion Institute, Amsterdam, Netherlands.

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