Welcome to the Dior Talks podcast series themed around the seventh edition of Dior Lady Art and hosted by Paris-based journalist Katya Foreman. For this year’s event, 11 artists from around the world have participated in a game of metamorphosis by rendering the iconic Lady Dior handbag as a unique piece of art.
Industrial wastelands, obsolete machines and anthropomorphic forms meet the slow art of tapestry weaving in the world of Paris-based Russian artist Zhenya Machneva, our latest guest. Using black and white drawings the artist embraces her painterly approach to colour as the works come to life on the loom.
A graduate of the Saint Petersburg Stieglitz State Academy of Art and Design, Machneva, who specializes in textiles, attributes her fascination with relics of desolate industrial landscapes to a visit to a factory where her grandfather worked for 40 years, where the machines resembled sculptures. Playing on geometric forms inspired by Brutalism, Modernism and Constructivism, this mood carries over to her three architectural Lady Dior bags which she conceived as sculptures, or art objects, positioned on metal structures. Being invited to reinterpret this iconic bag stirred a lot of questions on what it means to be a woman for the artist, with contrasting “soft and gentle” tapestry-inspired accents symbolizing a woman’s lifestyle and load.
“These bags collect in themselves all of my fields of inspiration, from architecture to women’s lives,” says the artist who approached the project as a synthesis of art and design, experimenting with colour and composition to create something new.
Tune into the episode to learn more about her fascinating world.