Ingeborg Steenhorst (1973)
Couturier, Costume Designer, Fine Artist, Photographer, Graphic Artist, Artist Manager, Activities Therapist, Nursing Aide
Ingeborg Steenhorst is a versatile independent designer/artist who consciously rejects the traditional academic art in favor of experimentation that allows her to carve her own creative path between art and fashion design. She transforms the ordinary into the extraordinary creating a mix of fashion, costume design, painting, photography, graphic work and performance art. The results are collections, products, exhibitions and fashion shows that create their own storytelling world full of both nature and theatrical elements.
Through her practice she seduces the audience and wearer in a world of unending movement of textures and colors. "I want to have drama in my art, not in my life" she says; and true to her word, the work she creates is a rush of drama that penetrates the order of everyday life. It balances between art and design, and it would be a mistake to identify it as either of the two. Binary points of view do not apply here. Crafted with artistry and distinction, Ingebor's designs make a strong appearance. Through the cold and aggressive metal elements implemented in her works, beauty emerges. The enticing textiles further refine the appeal of her pieces by illustrating the multiple layers of meaning hidden in them. Referencing Victorian era fashion and often implementing symbolism, she touches various themes such as introspection, environmental awareness and globalization.
Placing emphasis in aesthetics, Steenhorst´s practice is heavily based on intense labor, akin to ritual, that connects her permanently to each and every one of her works. A lot of times she uses as her base vintage pieces of clothing and jewelry full of memories and history, that she combines with luxury materials. She works on them intuitively to create new upcycled unique couture outfits which resemble sculptures more than garments. This process she calls "turning the ordinary into the extraordinary." By embracing the movement of slow fashion, she refuses to mass produce and instead focuses on creating custom and timeless pieces. She resists the logic of the capitalist market system and runs her atelier just like any traditional artist runs their studio. Through her practice, Steenhorst strives to break the wall between self and other, personal and social, art and design. Her works almost always tell a story of unity and interaction by challenging the extreme points of view.
A FAMILY TRADITION
Art and design combined with the love for stage productions, run like a red wire through the Steenhorst family. While living in Amsterdam in the early 1960's, Ingeborg's mother, Ans Steenhorst- de Beer (1934 - 2016) produced several children's operettas while her grandmother Elizabeth Steenhorst - de Matser (approx 1908 - 1998), a professional couture dress maker, created the delicate handmade operetta costumes. Although Ingeborg was born long after this period of her family history, as a child she was intrigued by her mother's stories and her grandmother's operetta costumes in which she used to dress up while playing in her attic in the 70's. The talent of these two remarkable women now live within Ingeborg, who with gratitude, continue their passion for creating art and design.
In 2018, Atelier Ingeborg Steenhorst celebrates it's 12,5 years anniversary. As owner and founding designer/artist Ingeborg gradually paved her creative path towards this anniversary. During the 90's she obtained several diploma's for Nursing Aid and Recreational Therapist up to Graphic and Fashion design. In the years that followed she combined part-time jobs in healthcare with a freelance design/art jobs and designed countless logos, tattoos, backdrops, stage props and t-shirt designs for local bands. In her free time she created autonomous pencil and ink drawings and collage style paintings. In the early 2000 Ingeborg continued with an academic course for professional music management. Eventually this led her to designing the outfits and stage-decor for the rock opera production 'Liaison de la Morte' by Dutch progressive metal band Cirrha Niva. Besides the visual design of the rock opera, she also handled the live bookings and tour management successfully! Her work for this production didn't remain unnoticed, as international touring triprock band the Gathering hired her to fulfil creative and management tasks for the band and its recordlabel Psychonaut Records. In 2006 she ends her work for the Gathering/Psychonaut Records and establishes her own atelier in order to fully focus on and develop her artistic talents.
Today Atelier Ingeborg Steenhorst is responsible for the self-confidence of many internationally acclaimed artists, local politicians, brides and celebrities who hit the stage, the altar or appear in public.
Text: Dorina Kappatou & Rob Willemse
Photo's Tim Tronckoe Photography, family private archive