Jessica Hemmings

Textile Writer

Kazuhito Takadoi: Organic Patterns

BY JESSICA HEMMINGS

Kazuhito Takadoi: Organic Patterns

The Japanese artist Kazuhito Takadoi’s artistic practice began six years ago, while working at the Hannah Peschar Sculpture Garden in the south of England. In the evenings after work, Takadoi began collecting materials from the ten acres of grounds that make up the sculpture garden to make cards for friends. Sensing an artistic talent deserving of a more substantial outlet than small cards, Peschar encouraged Takadoi to attend university and turn his personal hobby into a professional career. Takadoi acted on the advice, graduating in 2003 from Leeds Metropolitan University, where he studied art and garden design, with a BA honors degree.

Takadoi now embroiders abstract compositions of dried grasses onto large pieces of heavy paper. Often based on overlapping shapes, these compositions develop from initial sketches, but as he explains, he is always searching for an “inspired image” from nature. The finer the fiber, the more delicate and ephemeral each composition becomes, bending, in works such as Koke (Moss), to look like fine sprays of water. Other delicate patterns that resemble spore growth or the bloom of fungi seen under the microscope appear in the mirrored circles of Kumo (Clouds).

But nature is not Takadoi’s only subject. In Happa (Leaves), for instance, the proportions feel figurative, something reminiscent of our own spines and a sense of coiled kinetic energy. Made of two layers of stitches, the twig stems are bound tightly to the paper and then cocooned in a larger rib that suggests these leaves once grew from the wood stems. Kinoko (Mushroom) represents a departure from the minimal aesthetic of much of Takadoi’s work with a heavily textured background of small twigs upon which two circles float on turbulent waters.

Rather than the gardens where he once worked, Takadoi’s materials are now harvested from his own modest garden at home. Timing is crucial, as the materials must be sewn when they are only partially dry and still contain some elasticity. Over time the green grasses, in particular, turn from bright to golden and slowly become closer in shade to that of the paper, making the work increasingly subtle. Clean and spare these fiber drawings quite literally spring from the paper onto which they are stitched, reflecting both the energy and symmetry nature provides.

To see more work by Takadoi Takadoi, visit www.hannahpescharsculpture.com/kazuhito. Upcoming exhibitions include a joint project between Hope University and The Bluecoat Display Centre in Liverpool, March 31 through May 5, and Katachi—The Essence of Japanese Design, at Flow Gallery in London, June through August.

FiberArts Magazine (summer 2006: 37-39)