ETN conference


The 16th ETN (European Textile Network) Conference became the cornerstone of the FORWARD program. Beatrijs Sterk (Germany), who is the head of ETN and who organizes a conference that moves to a different country every two years, suggested to organize the biennial in Kaunas together with the 16th ETN conference. Since this year is the 30th anniversary of Textile Forum, which is the organization that puts together this conference, Beatrijs Sterk invited the best and brightest stars in the field of contemporary textile art to Kaunas so these important artists that are so important in the network’s activities could give presentations at the conference. Most of the above-mentioned speakers were invited by biennial organizers to put on personal exhibitions in Kaunas. The conference is expecting over one hundred and fifty art, design and industry experts and scientists from around the world. There will be excursions for the visitors to Vilnius, where biennial partner the Vilnius Academy of Arts will present four contemporary textile exhibitions; to Klaipėda, where the Klaipėda Culture Communication Centre is organizing a special exhibition to celebrate the biennial; and to Nida (where our guests will be able to rest and have discussions with young artists from Lithuania at the Vilnius Academy of Arts’ art residency premises) as well as to Rumšiškės to see Lithuania’s textile heritage. Reiko Sudo (Japan), Lia Cook (U.S.), Chunghie Lee (Korea) and Vibeke Vestby (Norway), who are conference speakers and some of the brightest textile artists in world will lead creative workshops for registered participants.



Rewind into the Future: Celebrating 20 years of ETN

In the framework of the 8th Kaunas Biennial TEXTILE ‘11

22nd to 24th September 2011 in Kaunas, Lithuania

(Please check our website for the latest programme details



ETN is the acronym of the European Textile Network, which unites institutions and individuals working in the creative field and in cultural heritage within Europe and links them with colleagues all over the world.

In existence for 20 years, the Network was formed as the borders within our continent opened. ETN Conferences were held annually in a different European country each year until the Millennium, then they became biennial, beginning in Riga/Latvia in 2001, followed by Prato/Italy, Izmir/Turkey, London, and Linz/Haslach, Austria. The forthcoming edition will be held in Kaunas to coincide with the 8th International Biennial TEXTILE ’11.

The ETN initiator, Dutch-born Beatrijs Sterk, now resident in Hanover, Germany, is also the editor of Textile Forum magazine, which supports the Network in print and celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. Formerly published in German only, an English edition was added to the magazine when the Network became co-publisher in 1994.

Kaunas 2011 – A location of three anniversaries

For many years, Lithuania, Kaunas, the editors of Textile Forum magazine and the Network Secretariat have maintained a flow of information.

The Kaunas Artists’ Support Fund asked ETN to co-organise the 8th Biennial. At this point, we realised that we were dealing with a special constellation:

1) The Kaunas Textile Arts Department, part of the Lithuanian Academy of Art, Vilnius, is 70 years old in 2011.

2) Textile Forum magazine was established exactly 30 years ago and is still managed by Beatrijs Sterk, who was in search of a worthy occasion to celebrate the anniversary.

3) The Network was looking for a meeting place to celebrate its 20th anniversary, both for its most active European members and for several of its non-European partners.

Thanks to the exemplary coordination efforts of Dr. Virginija Vitkiene, who is in charge of organising the Kaunas Biennials, the ETN Secretariat was able to invite a number of conference participants from all over the world to Kaunas, some of whom will exhibit their own work and hold workshops.

The Conference theme, “Rewind into the Future”

It was a lucky coincidence for the 2011 Kaunas events that the Kaunas organisers, ETN and Textile Forum magazine, all intended to use their respective commemorative occasions to provide retrospectives as well as future perspectives for their textile themes.

In the first few years of the magazine, its creative textile themes were influenced by the new departures seen in the Soviet Union as of the mid-1980s. In 1986, participants in an international Textile Forum meeting first discussed the possibility of forming a European textile network, which was established in 1990 and became a legal entity as an international association under the patronage of the Council of Europe, Strasbourg, and carrier of the European Textile Routes (ETR) in 1993. In 1997, the Assembly of European Regions (AER) added its patronage.

Two decades later, we face new challenges, including several in textile culture. The globalisation of economic ties has resulted in an analogous intensification of cultural contacts.

We would ask ETN members and their Kaunas guests to take stock of the results achieved in their various working fields and to exchange information on the problems, opportunities and scope for action they each expect for themselves and/or the textile community in art, craft and industry. Many of the older participants in the Kaunas event and the Conference work in education and thus focus on the younger generation on a daily basis – a generation that will face the tasks we (are obliged to) leave behind. What is our legacy? Our Kaunas Conference will look at answers to such questions.

Conference speakers

The event will give space to speakers from Western and Eastern Europe, the Americas and East Asia. Most of them have been involved in the Network since its beginnings. The ETN Secretariat expects their contributions to the discussion to reflect their many years of experience.

Sarah Braddock Clarke from the UK has been a consultant to the 2011 Kaunas Biennial for the theme, “Rewind into the Future”, from the outset. Another UK speaker is Diana Springall, a great connoisseur of international embroidery art. Anne Wanner from Switzerland, director of the St. Gallen Textile Museum for many years, still operates an online information service for organisers of textile events. The group of representatives from Western Europe is completed by Vibeke Vestby from Norway, who has engineered an electronic jacquard loom and travels the world as an expert of jacquard weaving.

Eastern Europe is represented by Marina Blumin, Ludmila Egorova and Andrew Schneider; the former, a staff member of the Hermitage Museum, will speak on behalf of textile people in St. Petersburg. The latter organise regular textile exhibitions and international symposiums in southern Ukraine.

Reiko Sudo from Tokyo and Korean Chunghie Lee, who currently teaches at the Rhode Island School of Design in the USA, will provide insights into design research and the East Asian textile culture.

North American weaving in art and design will be represented by three renowned artists and university lecturers, Lia Cook and Cynthia Schira from the USA and Louise Lemieux Bérubé, director of a training centre in Montreal, Canada. The Surface Design Association, our counterpart in North America, will be represented by Candace Edgerley and Carolyn Kallenborn, both well-known artists and inspiring teachers. The European Textile Network is very happy to have made a recent contact, the newly established Ibero-American Textile Network led by artist Paulina Ortiz from Costa Rica, in which tapestry artist Máximo Laura from Peru is a member.

Led by Beatrijs Sterk and Laima Oržekauskienė, this group of speakers will provide contributions to fill the first day of the Conference.

On the second day, up to 25 brief project presentations are scheduled, offering participants from various working fields and/or countries the opportunity to take part and publicise their projects on an international level. Traditionally, this is the ETN Networking Day, with communication effects that justify the Network’s existence. This is further supported by the excursions and workshops held for ETN members and their guests.


Beatrijs Sterk and Dietmar Laue



Organizers: ETN together with the Kaunas Artists Support Fund (

Conference locations (according to the common map of biennial venues):

1. M. Žilinskas Art Gallery, Nepriklausomybės a. 12, LT-44311 Kaunas

2. Kaunas Picture Gallery (K. Donelaičio g. 16, LT-44213 Kaunas)

3. National Museum of M.K. Čiurlionis, Conference Hall, V. Putvinskio g. 55, LT-44248 Kaunas

4. Gallery “Meno parkas”, Rotušės a. 27, LT- 44279 Kaunas

5. Gallery “Balta”, M. Valančiaus g. 21, LT-44275 Kaunas

6. A. Žmuidzinavičius Memorial Museum, V. Putvinskio g.64, LT- 44211 Kaunas

13. Best Western Santakos Hotel, J. Gruodžio g. 21, LT-44293 Kaunas

19. Restaurant Bernelių Užeiga, K. Donelaičio g. 11, LT-44248 Kaunas


Conference language: English


Pre-Conference (optional)


Wednesday, 21 September

Day trip to Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania. Participants arriving in Vilnius can return with this group by bus.

10:00–17:00 Course by Reiko Sudo, Wednesday and Thursday morning (location 3).


Thursday, 22nd September

9:00–10:00 Registration (location 13)

10:00 Optional: Guided tour no. 1 to Kaunas city centre, visiting craft shops, e.g.natural linen (start location 13)

10:00–12:30 ETN General Assembly (location 13)

13:00 Optional: Guide tour no.2 to Kaunas city centre, visiting craft shops (start location 13)

13:00–15:30 TEXERE meeting (location 13)

14:00–16:00 Registration (location 13)

17:00–18:15 Dance Festival show (Venue: Culture and sports centre „Girstutis“ (Kovo 11-osios g. 26, Kaunas). Trolleybuses No. 5, 7. Please ask for tickets at registration places – location 13)


Opening of the Kaunas Biennial TEXTILE ’11: REWIND – PLAY – FORWARD


19:00 Official Introduction (location 1)

Minister of Culture Dr. Arūnas Gelūnas, the patron of the Kaunas Biennial TEXTILE ‘11

Dr. Virginija Vitkienė, Chief Executive of the Biennial

Birutė Letukaitė, Director of the AURA Dance Theatre

Beatrijs Sterk, Secretary General of the European Textile Network (ETN)

Prof. Laima Oržekauskienė, Head of the Biennial Board

Dr. Rasa Andriušyte-Zukienė, the curator of the “Rewind History” exhibition

Sarah Braddock Clarke, a curator of the “Rewind into the Future” exhibition

- Presentation of the Biennial programme

-Announcement of the competition prize winners

-Visit to the exhibitions by invited guests: Lia Cook/ USA, Cynthia Schira/ USA, Louise Lemieux Bérubé/ CDN, Chunghie Lee/ ROK, Costa Rican Textile Artists, Portuguese artists.


21:00 Official opening continues in location 2.

Presentation of the invited artists of the programs REWIND and PLAY: Yinka Shonibare MBE (UK), Annika Ekdahl (Sweden), Silja Puranen (Finland), Otavio and Gustavo Pandolfo – OsGemeos (Brazil), Vita Gelūnienė (Lithuania), Inga Likšaitė (Lithuania / Germany), Patricija Gilytė (Lithuania / Germany), Eglė Ganda Bogdanienė (Lithuania), VALYA (USA), Almyra Weigel (Lithuania / Germany), Hiroko Watanabe (Japan), Min Tzu-Chao (Taiwan


Conference programme

Friday, 23 September

9:00– 9:30 Registration (location 3)

9:30 Welcome address. Dr. Virginija Vitkienė and Lala de Dios, the President of ETN

9:45 The Beginning of the Session „Rewind into the Future“

How to empower textile culture for the future, why is it important and what is left to be done for the upcoming generation (see Short Notes on the Speakers)

9:45 Introduction: Beatrijs Sterk and Laima Oržekauskienė, Lithuania

10:00 Lia Cook, USA

10:20 Cynthia Schira, USA

10:40 Chunghie Lee, South Korea

11:10 Reiko Sudo, Japan

11:30–12:00 Coffee break

12:00 Louise Lemieux Bérubé, Canada

12:20–12:40 Sarah Braddock Clarke/Marie O’Mahony, UK

12:40–14:00 Lunch / exhibition opening (location 3): Reiko Sudo

14:00 Diana Springall, UK

14:20 Paulina Ortiz, Costa Rica & Máximo Laura, Peru

14:50 Candace Edgerley & Carolyn Kallenborn, USA

15:20 Anne Wanner, Switzerland

15:40 Gina Morandini, Italy

16:00–16:20 Coffee break

16:20 Ludmila Egorova /Andrew Schneider, Ukraine

16:40–17:00 Marina Blumin, Russia

17:00–17:20 Vibeke Vestby, Norway


Saturday, 24 September

9:00 Networking session (location 13)

Moderators Lala de Dios and Beatrijs Sterk

Lectures by ETN members and guests (format 10 minutes/10 images each)

- Christina Leitner/A: The Textile Centre Haslach – A Vision is Taking Shape

- Giselle Eberhard Cotton/CH: The Toms Pauli Foundation and the Legacy of the Lausanne Biennale

- Hiroko Watanabe/Japan: The Japanese Fiber Art Group and its Networking Activities

- Hanny Spierenburg/NL: The Textile Festival in Leiden, Netherlands 2010 and 2015

- Velta Raudzepa/LT: Riga Triennials – Past and Future Perspectives

- Eva Basile/I: The Lisio Foundation – Textile Arts in Italy, Reviving through International Cooperation

- Patricia Christy/UK: The International TEXERE Group

11:00–11:30 Coffee break

- Vita Gelunienė/LT: Students Working in Social and Political Contexts: Susceptible Zone

- Eglė Ganda Bogdanienė/LT: Textiles at the Vilnius Academy of Arts – Networking Activities – about Textile students art projects in professional and expanded social field

- Severija Incirauskaitė-Kriaunevicienė/LT: Space for Young Artists – Artifex Textile Gallery/Vilnius Academy of Arts

- Pamela Hardesty/IRL: Reaching out from the South of Ireland: Textiles and – Networking Activities at the Crawford College of Art & Design, Cork

13:00–14:00 Lunch

- Katya Oicherman/IL: The Textile Department of the Shenkar College – Networking Activities

- Cathryn Amidei/USA: Creating a Learning Community: The Y Collective

- Katrin Pere & Ene Pars/EE: New Ways and Old Paths in Estonian Textile Art and Networking Activities

- Julia Astreou-Christoforou/CY: Efforts to use Cypriot Wool

- Bratislava Idvorean-Stefanovic/Serbia: An Interactive Catalogue of Interweave Variants in Textiles

18:00 Coffee break

- Lala de Dios/E: International projects of the Associacion de Creadores Textiles de Madrid

- Andrea Milde/E: The Taller de Empleo Project and the KUKU-Project, a creative working place in the North of Spain

- Shi Hui & Shan Zeng/CN: Contemporary Fiber Art in China, Education in Fiber Art in China Academy of Art, Hangzhou and exchange programme and projects in future

- Elisabeth Brenner/S: Nordic Textile Art, the importance of textile networking

- Harm Harms/NL: The possibilities and advantages of the funpump in surface design

- Monika Auch/NL: BOUNDLESS at AGA – municipal print making studio in Amsterdam launches international project (AGA = Amsterdams Grafisch Atelier)

- Carolyn Kallenborn/USA: Introduction of the Film Woven Lives, a selection of the film will be shown

- Yosi Anaya/Mex: The Biennial Air in Xalapa Veracruz, Mexico City and Oaxaca, 2011

- Maximo Laura/Peru: Introduction of his personal exhibition at the Devils Museum, vis-a-vis of the conference location

18:00 The opening of the exhibition (location 6): Andean Textile Art, Máximo Laura, Peru

18:30 The opening of the exhibition (location 6): TEXERE collection.

20:00 Conference Dinner (location 19)


Post-Conference Programme (optional)


Sunday, 25 September (National Heritage Day)

9:30 Trip by bus to the Open Air Museum in Rumšiškės (25 km from Kaunas)

10:00–17:00 Special programme at the Open Air Museum

19:00 Exhibition visits: Laima Oržekauskienė (loc. 7); Estonian Art (loc.9)


Monday, 26 – Tuesday, 27 September

A two days trip to the Curonian Spit, said to be the most beautiful place of Lithuania with an overnight stay at the new hostel of the Vilnius Art Academy in Nid

Wednesday, 28 – Friday 30th September/ resp. 2nd October

Courses by Chunghie Lee, Lia Cook and Vibeke Vestby


Short Notes on the Speakers
Courses / Workshops


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