Hello, I’m Olivia Babel, a French artist fueled by passion and enriched by a prestigious educational journey. I immersed myself in the world of art at the renowned Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-arts in Lyon, France, and honed my expertise in fiber art at the Ecole Supérieure des Beaux-arts in Angers, France.
My artistic intrigue lies in fiber art, particularly the captivating realm of cartography and maps. I embark on a creative exploration, representing territories in diverse forms, seeking to provoke contemplation on our relationship with the environment. In each piece, I present cartography as a distinctive and artistic narrative.
With a mosaic of ethnicities from across the globe (Europe, Africa, Asia, South America…), I feel a profound connection to the world, a sentiment echoed in my art—a reflection of my origins, cultures, maps and travels.
To breathe life into my vision, I employ traditional French hand weaving techniques to craft one-of-a-kind, handwoven sculptures. Every piece is meticulously created in Lyon, France.
My works grace the walls of international art galleries, and I extend my creativity to commissioned projects, making my pieces accessible through online galleries. Join me on this artistic journey where each creation is not merely an artwork but a narrative waiting to unfold.
“My handwoven sculptures represent various territories, like a metaphor of myself and my various cultures.”
Background in Textile Art
Discovering textile art in childhood through my grandmother’s embroidery, I realized its profound impact early on. My educational journey led me to the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-arts in Lyon, where I earned a Textile design diploma and further specialized in Fiber Art at the Ecole Supérieure des Beaux-arts in Angers.
Appeal of Textiles as an Art Form to You
I am captivated by textures and continually develop techniques to create unique tactile experiences. Natural wool, with its limitless possibilities, takes center stage in my tapestries. I enjoy blending different types of wool with threads, creating a harmonious fusion of elements.
I bring my tapestries to life on looms, utilizing rare French techniques to preserve endangered methods and craft distinctive, high-quality pieces.
Description of Your Work
My artworks are an extension of self-expression. Weaving tapestries is my canvas for ideas, inspired by territories, maps and cartography. Each handwoven sculpture metaphorically represents diverse cultures and territories.
Commencing with sketches and tapestry samples, I explore colors, techniques, and textures. The journey begins as I print a large version of my drawing to initiate the tapestry on my loom.
Time for a Larger Piece
Creating a significant piece is a nuanced process, taking between one and two weeks to complete one square meter.
Advice for Aspiring Textile Artists
My counsel: Work diligently, trust your instincts, and cultivate your curiosity.
Interview by Helen Adam, Founder of Textile Curator.