Since she was young, Victoria Manganiello has liked utilizing her hands to create. She was deeply inspired by the intimate relationship between humans and fabrics from birth to death, which motivated her to go further on the journey of textile design.
Through different processes of textile production and design, Victoria enjoys weaving because even though it may be monotonous, it is also meditative. “I like to let the materials guide me and I don’t regularly have a plan for what I’m weaving. I seek out opportunities to break the rules and interrupt the symmetry or balance that is theoretically required for weaving.”
Other than creating textiles and their designs, she is also an adjunct professor at two universities. Victoria has been teaching students from fashion design, painting and sculpting. While there might be slight differences on these approaches, the golden rule remains universally applicable:
“It is so important to write about your concepts, practice articulating the mediums or philosophies – even if these rituals are never shared with anyone, I believe they are essential to discovering the full potential of one’s creations.”
Always juggling different things in both her mind and hands, Victoria’s latest project “Mordant” combined her profession and her hobby – cooking. While participants eating food in special food containers with special utensils, natural colouring is marked on the fabrics. While food colouring will not stay on the fabric permanently unless processed, Mordant is the mineral/salt solution that fixes the colours.
The project “Mordant”, Victoria says, was not only the end product that mattered but also the process of the making.
“It seems that people really enjoy being a part of ‘Mordant’. I think of it as a performance and I’m also the conductor. It is also a meal that I share with my guests so people sometimes forget that they are a part of an ‘art experience’ and just enjoy their food and the company. I’m creating recipes that I think would be delicious and enjoyed by my guests with the plants that yield colours.”
For the future, other than developing “Mordant” in other parts of the world, Victoria would also like to make a large-scale installation. “I want to make something that viewers can really be within and I would love to thereafter collaborate with musicians, dancers, scientists, historians and anyone who will have me to activate the installations.”
Speaking of collaboration, aside from working on her own, Victoria has been motivated by teamwork. “I am very inspired by collaboration and have found some incredible results from working with other people whether this is in the dynamic I have with my students or with other artists,” said Victoria.
She collaborated with Kristin Kremers, a filmmaker, on a different project starting in New York and venturing all the way to Sofia, Bulgaria. The differences of products and culture sparkled a different result to “Mordant”, which surprised Victoria a lot. “It was incredibly inspiring to notice the nuanced differences of the clothes that depended upon where the project has been!”
Without a doubt, “making” is Victoria’s goal that she would like to keep continuing. “Making is the only thing that differentiates us from animals. The ability to take a set of materials or components, re-order them, and create something new gives me an intoxicating power and I strive to inspire others to harness their potential as humans to make impact on the world around them.”
即使有時候設計和實際製造紡織品的不同步驟比較單調， Victoria尤其享受紡織的過程 – 因為期間其實非常療愈。「紡織的時候我喜歡讓不同物料帶領我去創作，也不常有完好的計劃。雖然理論上紡織的基本是平衡和規矩，但是我也樂見不同打破常規和平衡的機會。」
「將概念寫下、練習使用不同創作媒體及其哲學是非常重要的一步 – 即使哪些內容你從不會跟別人分享，我相信這是發掘潛能而不可或缺的一步。」
經常一心多用又同時進行不同項目的Victoria最近的創作《Mordant》融合了她的專業和興趣 – 煮食。當參與者享受美食時，特別製作的器皿將會將食物的天然顏色滲透到特製的桌布之上。桌布之上的顏色並不是永久保存的，所以必須透過特別加工，而Mordant正是一種礦物鹽液體將顏色永久定型。