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strength study

Katie Schwab


strength study | Katie Schwab

Directly above Vleeshal there used to be a cloth market (lakenhal). The work strength study, developed by Katie Schwab for her solo show at Vleeshal, descended from the vaulted ceiling, alluding to the former space of textile trading above. strength study is constructed from bias binding, a small ware that is cut at a 45° angle for durability, and is often used for hemming. In strength study bias binding is freed of its concealed supporting role. Both the front and back of the work can be seen and its construction is on display. strength study was created using domestic tools: scissors, a ruler, an iron, threads and a sewing machine. It was pieced together in an improvised pattern, using an intuitive logic akin to the process of quilt making.

When researching the Vleeshal’s history of repair, Schwab encountered a photograph of the war damaged façade being held up by wooden scaffolding. This image influenced the proportions of strength study, a vertical textile at architectural scale. The subtle yellow and rose hues of the stained glass inspired the work’s palette.

Commissioned for


Vleeshal is an internationally oriented center for contemporary art, rooted in Zeeland. In Zeeland Focus, Vleeshal highlights regional artists, takes part in and celebrates local contemporary art and culture.

From time to time Vleeshal invites guest curators to organize exhibitions in the Vleeshal or to develop other projects. By doing so, we aim to welcome new perspectives and contribute to talent development.