A London summer tradition, the Perrier-Jouët Arts Salon Prize exhibition is back for its fourth chapter, celebrating contemporary creators who through their work establish a bond between art and nature. In the spirit of Art Nouveau principles, this year’s chosen winner is Hungarian-born textile artist Rita Parniczky, whose debut solo exhibition ‘Weaving with Light’ is on display at Contemporary Applied Arts until 30 July. Parniczky was chosen by a panel including inaugural winner Hitomi Hosono, art critic Peter Aspden, designer Tord Boontje and milliner Stephen Jones, among others, headed by this year’s chair, the Victoria and Albert Museum’s Jo Hooper.
The textile artist’s works attracted the Salon’s consensus for their novel approach to art and nature, with a combination of abstract forms and precise craftsmanship that provide new abstract interpretations of the Salon’s concept. ‘Growing up in the Hungarian countryside, the flat landscapes of my region gave me unlimited views of the horizon, un-bounding my perspectives of scale,’ says Parniczky. ‘Light and shade through skeleton-like winter trees, the glare of virgin snow, and the contrast between these elements are ever present in my visual language.’
Parniczky’s work consists of hand-woven textiles, which she creates using transparent nylon monofilament mixed with iridescent threads and natural threads such as cotton and rayon. The artist’s textile shapes are inspired by the gothic architecture of Norwich Cathedral as well as anatomy and the human body. ’I see the bone structure of the body like an architectural structure,’ says Parniczky, ‘and I brought them into my world by developing this weave technique further.’
The human body is a strong reference in her work, with vertical shapes inspired by the skeleton, blood vessels and the nervous system. These elements are abstracted and recreated in extraordinary textile panels, and converse with light thanks to the transparency behind her technique. ‘I find this aspect of my work very interesting; the fact that it’s changing all the time as light is changing. Natural circumstances and the environment have quite an impact on the pieces, there is a kind of performance with the work and natural light.’
Meditative and quietly innovative, her work is an inspiring combination of nature, traditional craft and a contemporary approach to art. ‘This award is about the beauty in everyday life,’ explains Axelle De Buffevent, style director at Perrier-Jouët. ‘Rita does it in an amazing way. It’s also about awarding the beauty of making, and the beauty of making in a very contemporary way – we are not nostalgic, not looking back, we have a very strong heritage we want to keep alive in a contemporary way.’