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About Sylvia van Opstall

Sylvia van Opstall’s art was formed over decades of experience across the cultural landscape. Her training as a set and costume designer made her acutely aware of the historical reciprocity of the arts and the crafts, while her years of running a model making business provided her with a vast trove of specialized expertise on cutting-edge materials. In addition, her career as a portrait painter exposed her to the freshness that the old masters’ traditional techniques allow - by understanding light.

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Ever since her early childhood Sylvia has been fascinated by the textures, the fabrics and the complex reliefs that emerge from modulating repetitive movements such as the needle’s stitches or the warp and weft of a loom. Where threads are indicators and traces at once, and patience is the only way forward.

Over the years these distinct elements have gradually  fused into a careful approach to design that permits their individuality to transcend into a new syntax of formal and textural meaning. 

Born from absorption in time-consuming design and complex production, Sylvia’s work echoes the rigorous clarity of shapes and rhythms typical of traditional Japanese lacquer work and folding screens.