Mechthild Reinders‘ studio specializes in the creation of sophisticated handmade felt.
BORN IN 1959 IN HAMBURG, GERMANY
I am a German/Canadian multidisciplinary artist: an actress, filmmaker and textile artist – with a wide range of passions that feed of each other.
I graduated in Drama from the Folkwang University for the Arts in Essen, Germany before moving to Paris to study clowning at the prestigious Ecole Philippe Gaulier. As an actress, I performed for more than a decade on German and Austrian stages, among them the Wuppertaler Buehnen, the Bremer Schauspielhaus, the Muenchner Kammerspiele and worked with Roland Schaefer from the Schausbuehne Berlin.
As a filmmaker, I directed culture films in Hamburg and nature documentaries in Norway for the German public TV NDR.
My great passion for the wild, the untamed and for snow and ice found a perfect environment, when the wind blew me over the Atlantic and I settled in Canada in 2002.
Here, in North America, I produced, directed and was in charge with the leading camera for my feature documentary “Raising Stars”, which was aired by the high- end European art channel ARTE (“Die Kehrseite der Medaille”/ “Le revers de la Medaille”)- a cinematic biography of my family involved in alpine ski racing which asks the viewer to reflect about the emotional cost of competition.
In 2018, I established “Mechthild Reinders Haute Couture Felting Studio”. As a textile artist, I have presented my work during prestigious exhibitions in France, such as “Salon Resonances”, “Pieces d’Exception” and “Tresor(s)”.
I received numerous grants for my work- both as a film director and a fibre artist- from the “Canada Council for the Arts”, the “National Film Board of Canada”, “Calgary 2000”, “The Banff Centre”,
“Felt/ Feutre Canada” and the “Calgary Arts Development”.
My great passion for nature is perfectly embedded in dyeing wool and silk with natural dyes through plants I am growing myself- materials I am using for contemporary tapestries. To me, this is like “painting with wool”. With felting animal heads I am re- connecting to my theatre career and the physical challenge this involves, is tied to my passion for the great outdoors and my multi- day long ski tours and ice climbs in the Canadian Rockies and in Norway.
While on my way in my third artistic career, I am now intrigued by creating tapestries, installations and Haute Couture with flatspun silk.
For my most recent work, I entered the fascinating universe of silk by working with silkworms. I have conducted thousands of Bombyx Mori to flatspin luxurious Mulberry silk for “Metamorphose”, a hybrid of an art installation and a theatre/ opera costume of a giant silk moth.