Kerstin Grießhaber

Costume designer, artist

Kerstin Grießhaber was born in 1984 and grew up in the Schwarzwald (Black Forest). She studied stage and costume design at the State Academy of Fine Arts Stuttgart and costume design at the Berlin University of the Arts. In 2017, she was the winner of the Elsa Neumann Scholarship of the of the state of Berlin. She lives and works in Berlin. A work by Kerstin Grießhaber with photographs by T

Kerstin Grießhabers artistic career as a costume designer shaped her understanding of clothing, to create her own work and objects that combine art and craft. All of the visible contents are elaborately and detailed produced by herself: from the headgear and clothing to the shoes of the people portrayed. The associated materiality and the application of old craft techniques to the objects are particularly important to her.

hiago Auge The image series Out of the Forest , created in 2019, deals with the with the visual landscape of the Black Forest, its nature and the clothing of its women, more precisely the rustic festive costume of the „Gutacherin" (the appraiser). This long anachronistic piece of clothing is considered the Black Forest costume par excellence and with its most distinctive element, the red "Bollenhut" (pom-pom adorned hat), has become synonymous with this cultural landscape. Its original symbolism and transformative power was almost completely buried in the process: The traditional costume signaled geographical affiliation to a particular community and within this community it took on the function of a language that overlaid the individual person with the vocabulary of social codes. The festive costume, also known as the "dress of honor", "church dress" or "forest dress", was given to the wearer when she joined the congregation and accompanied her for the rest of her life. Until her death, it provided information about the woman’s identity and home. The "forest dress" had three layers, one white, one red and one black, which were worn on top of each other and thus changed the silhouette of the wearer. In Out of the Forest special attention is paid to these three layers in particular. In the image series Out of the Forest , Kerstin Grießhaber explores her place of origin, the Black Forest. Over the years she has documented traditional church festivals such as Easter, Thanksgiving and the associated processions in the Black Forest. The tradition of the Black Forest costume awakened in her the imagination for her own artistic language and a contemporary translation of those historic techniques and materials associated with the objects of her research. She interviewed local people who still master this highly specialized craft. Her artistic career as a costume designer shaped her understanding of clothing, textile and craftsmanship. For the artistic process time and duration of the production of those individual pieces of clothing play a significant role. All visible objects and textiles were elaborately produced and crafted by Kerstin Grießhaber herself: from the headpiece and clothing to the shoes of the person portrayed. Thiago Auge's gaze brings the Out of the Forest series to life. Since 2011 Kerstin Grießhaber has had her works photographed with Sophie Reble.

Kerstin Grießhaber's artworks

"OUT OF THE FOREST" with photos by Thiago Auge, 120x80, Edition 10, Fuji Crystal DP, matte lamination, Fuji Crystal Archive matte