An Interview With Tarja Cockell

Exhibit of Tarja Cockell and Sus Iserbyt
At the Loading Dock GalleryCollaborative Exhibit web

I recently attended Texture & Terrain, Intertwining Perspectives, a collaboration of two artists, Tarja Cockell and Sus Iserbyt. Tarja is a textile artist and Sus is a painter. It’s the feature exhibit at the Western Avenue Studios in Lowell.




Tarja is a member of our small textile artists group called We Are Six and I want to share her art with you and let you in on who she is as an artist.




Janis: How did you come to be an artist?

Tarja: I always liked to work with colors and designs and that made me pursue the art field. I want to challenge myself as an artist with new things.

Janis: How would you describe your art process?

Tarja: Lot of times I work with layers, so the end result shows in the end, when images are merging together.

Tarja's Sculptural Fiber Art
Vessels. TC.

Janis: What can you tell us about your techniques and materials?

Tarja: In my current work I use traditional textile techniques, like weaving, applique and dyes with a contemporary twist. Linen is my main material for weaving and cotton for appliqued pieces. For warp painting I use acrylics.

Weaving and Sculpture web
Weaving by Tarj Cockell and Sculpture by Sus Iserbyt

Janis: This new work is something of a departure from your previous work.  Would you tell us about that?

Our theme “Texture and Terrain” for this show made me think dimensions and surfaces, so I chose to do these 3-dimensional weaves, some with double beam loom.

Sculptural textile art.
Detail of “Earth’s Crust.” Tarja Cockell
Southwest Influence by Targa Cockell.
“Southwest Influence.” Tarja Cockell

Janis: Please talk about the process of creating these sculptural textiles, both in terms of the technical component of devising them and the creative force that brought them into form.

Tarja: The pieces “Earth Crust” and “Ridges” I wove them with coated metal thread, which allowed me to to shape the texture of the work. That is some new material, I haven’t tried before, but I want to explore it further. I can see lot of exciting possibilities.

Sculptural Textile Art
Left: “Earth’s Crust.” Right, “Ridges.” Artist: Tarja Cockell

Janis: Where can people see your art in the coming months?

Tarja: We have Open Studios at The Loading on Western Avenue, Lowell, MA every first Saturday of the month from noon to 5pm.

Also my work can be seen at the  Loading Dock Gallery in Lowell, MA, on view through September 28. (More info here.)

Also at the Worcester Center for Crafts and Fruitland’s Museum Store in Harvard in the Gallery Store.

Tarja on left with a friend  at right.
Tarja on left with a friend at right.

Thanks Tarja!  I hope some of you can get to see this exhibit while it’s there.

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