Atelier Tron in Romania. Credit Sorin Nainer
Photo credit Sorin Nainer

‘The world grinding to a halt is a unique circumstance and I have chosen to take in the silence and see what comes out.’

The British Council in Romania caught up with Andreea Tron during lockdown. Andreea is the founder and manager of Atelier Tron, a sustainable brand that mixes art, design, fashion and architecture. Andreea was a Romanian delegate at the Crafting the Future conference in Greece earlier this year. Her work and insights will be part of the British Council’s craft and circular economies programme in Romania, which includes Crafting Futures Romania and the UK Focus programme during Romanian Design Week 2020. 

Tell us about your work and practice

I am the founder of Atelier Tron, a textile design studio focused on normalising sustainability, keeping crafts alive and sharing traditional wisdom. We design textile products that aim to empower and we organise workshops about the crafts of dyeing with natural pigments, textile printing with plants, and sewing.

How has Covid-19 affected your daily working routine?

Our studio is a social place in which we organise meetings and workshops, therefore our daily routine was affected and we were forced to stop events for a few months. We moved as much of our activity online as we could and started to share information via social media.

My working routine was affected in a positive way by the lockdown because I continued working from home and my work became a priority. Having nowhere to go outside the house made me have a strict routine and be very productive at the same time. It was an opportunity to rethink the structure of the studio and improve a lot of aspects of it.

How has Covid-19 affected your life outside of work?

My life outside of work shifted from a lively social life filled with travels and events to a quiet and calm space for introspection. Isolation was often difficult, but at the same time it gave me the opportunity to invest time and care in certain activities which I have been postponing for some time.

What has been most challenging?

Closing the studio for a while was a challenge, but in the end it felt right. At first I felt anxious about all the sudden changes happening around the world, but realising that the situation was practically out of everyone‘s hands brought me a sense of clarity and responsibility which I embraced. Yes, there is still uncertainty, and no one really knows what the future will bring, but facing it collectively gives me peace of mind.

What has been most surprising?

The most surprising part of the lockdown was that time felt like it expanded. 24 hours were now enough to work, sleep, cook, learn and relax. The world grinding to a halt is a unique circumstance and I have chosen to take in the silence and see what comes out.

What innovative ways have you seen artists and arts organisations adapt the way they work to cope with the pandemic in your country?

I think everyone adapted their work in their own way, whether they shifted to online or refused to go digital, or just took a break and recharged their creative energy. I saw an artist giving away free works of art as a way of keeping art in the physical world. I also engaged with an artist creating a time and space for dancing that is purely physical and not at all digital, which felt good in the overall context of digital saturation.

Have you learnt anything new about yourself and your country during this time?

I have learnt to appreciate the alone time and the focus and concentration that comes along with it. In our daily routine I think we tend to fill in our schedules and ‘be productive’, often leaving aside the importance of taking breaks. I realise now more than ever how great ideas emerge in the space in between. Fear, a horrible feeling to live with, is born exactly from this constant rush and is for me probably one of the greatest inhibitors of creativity.

Could you recommend three artists in your country that we should check out?

Codruta Cernea, Radu Abraham and Studio Mud

When everything returns to normal what will be the first cultural experience you will seek out?

I am looking forward to attending workshops and to starting our own events and workshops in the studio. This time off brought about a certain distance that enabled me to look back and reevaluate what we have been doing in the last couple of years – a sort of personal review which has sown the seeds of a new creative start, both personally and professionally.

Want to know more about Andreea Tron and her work? 

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