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Maria Theresa Moerman-Ib

Theresa’s creative practice incorporates several genres, describing herself as a knitter, photographer, poet, writer and artist.  A theme underpinning all her work is her intrigue and interest in working with found materials, whether it is a discarded vintage 35mm photographic slide, an old cassette tape, sheep’s wool caught in a hedgerow or script transformed into erasure poetry by removing words from a pre-existing text. 

Her Danish and Dutch heritage runs throughout her work, beginning with her grandmother teaching her to knit at age four, she’s never put down the needles since!  Although she studied photography at art school, she was encouraged to apply whichever medium best expressed her ideas.  This freedom and willingness to combine different art forms and techniques have led to Theresa sharing her work under both Unsure Sheep for her fibre-based works and The Ghost Curator for her photography and text-based work. 

Aesthetic

When yarn is spun un-carded and unprocessed, the resulting finish is rustic and often infused with the remains of the landscape it came from: grass, gorse flowers, reindeer moss etc. Theresa prefers to work with raw fleece but also uses hand-dyed or artisan yarn. She is currently working on combining her photography and textile practices by dyeing wool using non-toxic photographic processes such as cyanotype, which was used to create botanical prints by British botanist Anna Atkins in the 19th century.

Her handcrafted and sustainable knitted works are like tactile photographs of the landscape containing physical reminders of their natural origins.  Unusual materials such as old cassette tapes are also spun into fibre and used for cross-stitched artworks that use found words or phrases, the silenced cassette tape gains a new voice in a different form, an old story spun anew. 

 

Practice

Knitted works begin their life from a cloud of raw fleece and range from pocket-size amulet pouches to wrist warmers and large shawls. Theresa especially enjoys working with Scottish rare breeds such as Shetland and North Ronaldsay sheep. However, when the fleece is sourced directly from the landscape the wool is often naturally scoured by inclement weather and is more challenging to work with. A quick carding using a drop spindle makes it easier to spin.  Theresa also uses a Danish technique known as dogmestrik (dogma knitting), which entails pulling yarn directly from the raw fleece and knitting with it unprocessed and unspun. The fibre is strong, durable and easy to knit with because of the coarse overcoat while also soft and pliable due to the fluffy undercoat. Once the garment or work is finished, it is washed and shaped before drying naturally.

 

Location and Links

Blairgowrie

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Work by this artisan

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