Tilleke Schwarz

Tilleke Schwarz


Tilleke stitches maps of modern life that remind of graffiti. She includes anything that moves, amazes or intrigues her. Daily life, mass media, traditional samplers and cats are major sources of inspiration. This results in a mixture of content, graphic quality and fooling around. All her work contributes to one concept: the oddities of modern life.

Looking from a different angle her work can be understood as a kind of visual poetry. All her work contains narrative elements. Not really complete stories, with a beginning, a storyline, and an end. On the contrary, the narrative structures are used as a form of communication with the viewer. The viewer may assemble the stories and to produce chronological and causal structures. Actually the viewer might step into the role of the “author”. It can become a kind of play between the viewer and Tilleke.

Tilleke’s work relates to the history of humanity that is determined through stories. The sense of humour is typical for her Jewish background: a mixture of a laugh and a tear. Tilleke loves textiles because of the tactile looks. Textile generally has a more intimate relationship with the viewer and is very suitable to communicate emotions.

All her textile work has been hand embroidered on fine linen (50 count). Her stitching may look intricate and complicated but she involves just a few different stitches and manages to make the most of them and probably even invented new ones. Tilleke loves color and has a wonderful treasure of at least 2500 different embroidery threads to choose from. Aside from embroidery she created works in mixed media on paper. Tilleke enjoys to teach workshops and is well known for her humorous lectures.

ALL LIVES MATTER 2021 | Size: 64 x 665 cm | Technique: hand embroidery on linen | More info: All lives count from all humans as well as all animals. Central item in this piece are many ancient  fossile woodlice  (found in the town were I grow up) and powderbleu snowflakes (maybe poisoned).
ALL LIVES MATTER 2021 (Detail) | Size: 64 x 65 cm | Technique: hand embroidery on linen
ALL LIVES MATTER 2021 (Detail) | Size: 64 x 65 cm | Technique: hand embroidery on linen
ON THE HOOF | 2015, 69 x 60 cm., hand embroidery on linen
ON THE HOOF (detail)

Pijnacker, (near Delft) The Netherlands



Workshops: Yes
Talks: Yes
Commissions: Yes