After studying at the prestigious Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-arts of Lyon, France, Olivia Babel made a specialization in fiber art at the Ecole Supérieure des
Beaux-arts of Angers, France.
Specialized in fiber art, she is interested about concept of cartography. Olivia Babel represents territories in all them forms in order to question our relation to environment. Babel shows cartography in an other way.
The French artist has different ethnicities from around the world (Europe, Africa, Asia, South America…). Because of that, she is connected to the world and shows it with her vision, fed by her origins, cultures and travels.
To create her handwoven sculptures, Olivia Babel uses traditional French hand weaving techniques. All her pieces are handwoven in Lyon, France.
The artist regularly exhibits her works in art galleries internationally. She also creates works to commission and sells her works at the online gallery

Handweaving in progress by Olivia Babel

“My handwoven sculptures represent various territories, like a metaphor of myself and my various cultures.”

What is your background in textiles ?
I discovered textile art when I was a child through my grandmother who was an embroiderer. I really felt it was my passion when I was very young. I decided to study at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-arts of Lyon with a Textile design diploma and specialised in Fiber Art at the Ecole Supérieure des Beaux-arts of Angers.

What is it about textiles as an art form that appeals to you ?
I love textures and develop techniques in order to create my own textures. I love all the possibilities of wool. Natural wool is the principal element I use for create my tapestries. I also like to mix different types of wool with threads.

What techniques do you use ?
I weave my tapestries on looms. All my creations are hand woven and I use rare French techniques in order to perpetuate endangered techniques and to create quality and atypical pieces.

How do you describe your work ?
My artworks are like an extension of myself. To weave tapestries is my way to create and to express my ideas. I am inspired about territories and cartography. All my handwoven sculptures represent various territories like a metaphor of my various cultures.

How do you create a piece ?
I start with sketches and tapestry samples in order to find good colours, techniques and textures. Then, I print a large version of my drawing to start the tapestry on my loom.

I know this is a hard question but how long does a bigger piece take ?
Good question. It takes between one and two weeks to create one square meter.

Do you have any advice for aspiring textile artists ?
Work hard, trust yourself and be curious.

Interview by Helen Adam, Founder of Textile Curator.

©Olivia Babel – 2023 – All right reserved