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Work / Art

Nina Cosco weavings and illustrations translate abstract shapes and absurd situations

Artist and illustrator Nina Cosco’s work is an interesting mix of illustrations and weavings which are made up of simple, geometric compositions. “I often dig up my old sketchbooks, where I extract elements that seemed unimportant when I first drew them. I also write stories of things I live, see, or hear in my everyday life and I search for a picture to give an additional information to it,” explains Nina. “Making a tapestry takes me weeks and the ideas come through the process of weaving – I have no layout. Drawing illustrations is faster, but finding good ideas takes as much time as making a tapestry.”

Nina learned how to weave after taking some evening classes in Brussels to get a grip on the “basics of tapestry” but has continued to develop her skills. “Today I keep on making mistakes and I’m struggling on each new piece, but that’s part of the game! I like techniques that need a lot of attention and logic,” she says. “As an active and impatient person, weaving is like a therapy, teaching me to slow down and take the time to see a picture or story appear.”

While Nina doesn’t see herself as adopting a certain style, she reduces her 2D and 3D images to their most abstract elements to create a visual balance and meaning that’s personal to the artist. “I want the public to interpret my work and make it their own and I hope I can make them want to try the techniques I use,” Nina says. “By seeing my work, whether in an exhibition, in a zine or the internet, I hope people lose themselves for a moment and forget the confusing events occurring in this world.”

Nina’s influences can be seen within her work, but she’s careful not to emulate them too literally. “I am inspired by contemporary Japanese comics as well as the simplification of shapes, like Bruno Munari’s research, or geometric abstraction,” she explains. “Another source of inspiration can come from absurd situations, I just like to describe them and convert them using different techniques.”

The French artist’s colour palette is a soothing mix of peaches and earthy tones, and for Nina, choosing colours is an “instinctive process”. “Of course I have preferences and some reference colours appear on a regular basis in my work,” she explains. “There is also a technical constraint that forces me to adapt to the materials I have. I don’t have 100 different yarn colours, so I have to use the ones I already have and play on binomial colours to create a new tint.”

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