Anita Sarkezi | Weave Designer & Award Winner

Winner of the Weavers’ Company Award at New Designers

Anita Sarkezi was born to working-class Slovenian migrant parents in Sweden and returned to Slovenia during her school years. She has since then lived in several European countries, moving to Scotland in 2018.

Sarkezi’s textile design practice is motivated and informed by her Slavic cultural background. Her work is grounded in the interwoven histories of rural material culture and post-colonialism in Central and Eastern Europe, where she questions the traditional use of floral patterns as national symbols.

Her practice explores the relationship between organic and geometric shapes. Using the TC2 digital loom, Sarkezi constructs an imaginary space consisting of personal ornaments and motifs, as well as bold and gradient uses of colour. This serves as a visual metaphor for the flux of movement and migration and an outlet for her personal narrative as a migrant.

Sarkezi gathers visual information through wandering, catching and recording glimpses of nature in urban centres, then incorporating them into a new reality utilising digital and analogue ways of working.

Sarkezi’s approaches to drawing, colour and design exploration are intuitive and chaotic yet neatly edited at the end of the process. They’re all intertwined throughout the creative journey, and she feels colour exploration can end up in a drawing and design exploration can become a drawing. Form does not exist without colour. Each drawing, colour and design exploration has been collaged from diverse sources, aiming to create something that is ‘original’ and is an expression of her own identity and heritage.

Sarkezi says:
“I have strived to create an archive of personal, floral, organic and geometric motifs and have become bolder in colour use (exploring multiple colour palettes) by shifting between digitally and analogue constructed palettes, drawings and designs. Each of these has been labour intense processes supported by meticulous research. I was consciously trying to avoid repeating motifs that have already been ‘established’ and have pushed myself towards decorative motifs which are not conventionally beautiful but hint at some lingering feeling of displacement.”

In July 2023, Sarkezi graduated with First Class honours in Textile Design from the Glasgow School of Art, winning the Newbery Medal, the GSA’s highest undergraduate accolade. She was supported in her studies by the Begg & Co Scholarship.

She also received the Weavers’ Company Award New Designer in London, the Incorporation of Bonnetmakers Award and the Incorporation of Weavers of Glasgow Award for Best use of Wool for Fashion and/or Interiors.

Throughout the summer of 2023, she is working as an intern at Begg & Co. She was commissioned a five weft jacquard bespoke statement piece for the Incorporation of Weavers of Glasgow last year.

Anita will be available for commissions from October this year.
With thanks to Anita Sarkezi for the text and images

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