3 January 2024
The fact that An Gillis with Studio Naan chooses a different technique and material for each project forces her to collaborate. Although she actually gets a lot of energy from that.
Who is An Gillis?
I prefer to start my objects and installations from a historical narrative. Ever since I was young, history has fascinated me immensely. I delve into historical documents and engage with cities and towns, local history circles or local museums. For example, I designed the rocking daybed De Dip for my home town of Tienen or exhibit the flax raft Vlos in Kortrijk. It tells the story of flax cultivation in the region, but it was also a study of the use of flax composite at the same time.
Past and present go hand in hand in my practice. Traditional crafts are an important source of innovation. For example, Nabil Aniss and I transformed a traditional Berber textile object into a contemporary piece for the Al Khat project by integrating local wool and industrial jacquard techniques. I try to work with pure materials as much as possible or with connections that can be loosened. Rather than high-tech solutions, I opt for traditional, often more sustainable techniques. Using traditional crafts gives me the most satisfaction.
Experimentation is at the core of my design practice. If you research something and then also turn it into something real, that is simply magical. I also get a lot of energy from collaborating with other designers or makers. Since I work with a different material for each project, these collaborations are an intrinsic part of my creations. Being able to surround myself with passionate people every day is an indescribable privilege.