Rio de Janeiro, RJ, 1990
Äline Besourö is an artist, illustrator and designer of clothes and prints. She is also a Kundalini Yoga teacher and costume designer for theatrical and cinematographic productions. She completed a master's degree in Contemporary Artistic Processes and initially graduated in Art History at UERJ. Her research and practice is related to an interest in historiography and the possibility of narrating through different characters, shapes, colors and materials.
interview by Igor Furtado, published on 31/05/2021
In what ways was fantasy present in your childhood? What is your most vivid memory of that time?
I was always interested in telling and reading stories, my childhood was full of moments steeped in imagination and image. Part of the work I do today refers to that moment. I remember when I was seven years old and I took the newspaper that came home, cut and paste it, creating another newspaper with my own stories. Both my mother and father have always stimulated me in my childhood. In fact, my whole family encouraged me to dream. We woke up and got together to talk. Perhaps superstition was also a great ally that extended my fascination in early childhood. The possibility of dreaming and the wonderfulness of living other worlds sustains my fascination today. About vivid memories, I have many. I remember when I went to play with Cacilda, my brother's grandmother and her hemodialysis hose came out and blood flew everywhere in the room. I remember my grandmother Regina giving me a bath and when she joined me and my cousins in the room with her recording songs that we heard in sequence. In one of them I sang the song "How can a live fish live out of cold water?". I remember when I hunted crickets in Caxias. I remember when I took my ABC teddy bear to grandma Elza, next door to my grandma Cilésia, to sew...
How were your first contacts with drawing and sewing?
My first contact came from my mom and dad. When I turned six, my mother joined the Faculty of Fine Arts at UFRJ at 36. It was her first college and since she had two children, my brother Samuel and I, she needed to take us to university so as not to leave us alone at home. That was perhaps my first and constant contact with the study of arts and the university environment. I remember feeling very comfortable, despite being a hostile environment for children. Then, when my youngest sister was born, I remember my brother, who at the time must have been 13 years old, I, aged 8, and Ana, still a baby, strolling in the corridors while my mother was in class. My mother had to take observation drawing classes and asked me to draw with her. I started sewing with grandma Elza and my grandma Cilésia. Grandma Elza sewed ABC's ear, I must have been 5 years old. ABC had a pierced ear because of a seal from the store, the ear was sewn and sewed, I had fun watching the fabric break and then fix it. When I got a big hole, I said I was going to take it to the doctor, Dona Elza. There, the idea of healing, sewing also came to me. Soon after, I discovered that when a person's skin was opened, it was sewn to close and heal. My grandmother Cilésia taught me crochet too. When I turned 15 Grandma Elza gave me her sewing machine as a gift, which I named Gabriela. After that, I never stopped sewing, I had the help of Aunt Dalva in handling the machine at first, but then I quickly got used to it and started sewing my own pieces.
The Beings are from another planet and have their own identities and characteristics, can you explain in general their history?
The planet Miríades is just one of many that inhabit my imagination. The Beings come from these planets to know and live with our world. As soon as they arrive and incarnate on paper, drawing, clothes, they bring their lives and memories. Over the years, I became more and more attuned to meeting their narrative expectations. Realize differences and intentions. Sometimes I can tell the story of someone at length, like the story of Fearless, a human amphibian who lived underground, or Limbo who, since he was a child, wanted to be a military, but when he had to fight his first war, he realized that there was no point in killing… Others I only know the names, but over the years we get to know each other. Miríades means thousands, so I think that's right, because they come in bunch and I inscribe them under any available surface.
What techniques and processes do you usually use in the development of a graphic or stamping project?
Mostly I use ink, silkscreen, monotype, cut and collage. My process is deeply rooted in engraving, manual making and repetition. My process starts with drawing. I draw everything that goes on in my mind or what I see. During reproduction, the image becomes another and then another. I have collected these primordial designs for many years in various notebooks that I sew. Over time, I look at these drawings differently, as well as the characters and symbols themselves. I draw as I write, with letters that are symbols, letters that are letters, numbers, phrases and Beings. A writing in images, with infinite meanings, shapes and stories inside. My hand is connected to my mind. Then I transform these drawings into other materials, sometimes silk-screen canvases, which encourage me to follow in do-it-yourself. I am interested in learning how to build things, it is part of my culture and what I believe. Learn and share knowledge. With that, I try to transform and create matrices of engraving, clipping, watercolor, pixo. Stamping is the mixture of all this superimposed on a fabric. Which, incidentally, also started from this interest in the support Fabric: Text.
Besourö Äline SS 2021 Campaign
You are also a Kundalini Yoga teacher. How does this practice influence you?
My search and trajectory in meditation and yoga were the paths I chose to deal with my sensitivity. My practice influences my work mainly by allowing me to remain mentally stable. The same images that allow me to create and draw sometimes also torment me. Meditating is an opportunity to experience freedom. Not as an alienation from this life, but this possibility of just being. It turns out that because it has a great effect on my routine, the practice starts to cross my creations constantly.
Do you usually get inspired by the work of other artists? How have your recent collaborations transformed your perceptions and knowledge?
I look for references mainly in forms that physically surround me; leaves, insects, buildings, objects I collect, people. I dedicate myself to drawing, or writing, these experiences. Sometimes I also take a journey through memory. I studied academically about the period of military dictatorship in Brazil, looking for ways to retell this story by drawing attention to the violence and also reaffirming a position against this system. It is not an explicit referencing movement, but there is this path of creation. As for the artists that inspire me, there are several, mainly Luiz, who has a small world in his store in Favela do Esqueleto. He was one of the first artists I met in person, when I was still at school and passed by coming back home. Then, in college, I even took the class to meet him. In addition, the artistic collaborations from when I entered the academic world formed me as an artist and helped me feel more comfortable with the term, such as with Tadáskía, Maria Gray, Maíra Senise, Bruno Moreira and Jandir Junior. Recently, other artists started to be part of my trajectory, mainly thanks to Trovoa, a group of artists that brought me all the grace, joy and conscience in the exchanges. I am freer after that meeting. I recently collaborated with Natasha Ribas, in order to bring focus and a new perception about my clothing brand. This partnership inaugurates a new moment in my production.
Designs: Äline Besourö, Photography: Igor Furtado, Styling: Natasha Ribas assisted by Olivia Lodi, Beauty: Mayra Moreno, Models: Victoria Moulin, Luanna Chi, Thais Queiroz, Vitu and Diego
How have you faced the commercial aspect of your work and the challenges of creating a new brand?
It has been a wonderful challenge, there is a whole part of fashion that I was unaware of. My clothing and clothing reference came from the anime HunterxHunter and Sakura Card Captors. In those animes there were clothes that were repeated and clothes that were sewn and modified. In Sakura, mainly, there was Tomoio who sewed the clothes for her. I remember a scene that Tomoio said that the outfit was to protect Sakura from the challenges she would face. When I started sewing for myself, I also had the intention of protective clothing. There was also a question about the real need for clothes and their meanings, I developed a lot about this in the first blog posts https://sext4feira.wordpress.com/. The clothes I make for myself are ritual, monastic clothes that carry that kind of intention. With the start of sewing for other people, also other responsibilities came. My creative work has grown and multiplied in pieces, but the bureaucratic and logistical reference is still something I need to learn, like everything in life, slowly, attentively and with patience. I am excited to have lived in another production rhythm for so long and now to surrender myself to the beginning of the brand with this gas. It makes me seem to be entering a new ground, which I walk with reverence, care and curiosity.
What do you hope to achieve in the long run?
I hope to be able, most of the time, to work honestly, meditate every day, meet people without fear and play.