This blog post will be about textile exclusively. In my world, there is so much interesting going on about textile so I have to tell you. It seems that textile art is becoming gradually more recognized as important and relevant, at least from my horizon here in Stockholm.
Märta Måås-Fjetterström was one of the most influential textile designers and artists of the 20th century. Her famous studio in Båstad celebrates 100 years this year and there are two exhibitions in Stockholm. I visited the one at the Royal Palace. “Look at the rugs, find me” was her own description of her artistry. Her innovative designs of rugs and tapestry are still astonishly modern. She became a very sucessful entrepreneur and sold rugs worldwide. Her designs are still on the market today and are highly valued. The Royal family has a special connection with Märta Måås-Fjetterström being one of her greatest admirers and part of the exhibition comes from their private collection.
More exhibitions : on Helle Knudsen gallery the textile artist Linda Lasson has shown her remarkable works, mostly embroidery with black thread on tarp. She shows her art all around the world and her next stop was an art fair in Miami US. Her motifs come from the landscape of the North of Sweden and the Sami culture. Some of the embroideries are about the situation for the Sami people with centuries of oppression from the Swedish state and current threats to their land and way of living through mining exploitation.
Sweden has a black history of mistreatment of the indigenous Sami people. Less than 100 years ago Sweden was leading in ” race biology” with a “scientific” center at Uppsala University. Most of the interest was directed towards the Sami people who was considered of an inferior race. Their “scientific” interest made them steal sculls from graveyards, make humiliating involuntary examinations of nude individuals who were photographed and published. Other misdeeds was compulsery tranfer of groups of Sami people from the land they had inhabited for many centuries, parting children from their parents and placing them in Sami boarding schools. It is important to have this in mind to understand the significance of the current interest in Sami culture, art, film and pop music etc. It is part of a growing interest and recognition of indigenious people around the globe.
Britta Marakatt-Labba is a textile artist who has reached worldwide fame in recent years. She tells the story of the Sami people in embroidery some of them monumental in size. Having worked with embroidery for 40 years she made a remarkable success at the Documenta 14 in Kassel Germany 2017 with her 23,5 m long textile “Historja”. Now she travels the world with exhibitions and lectures on her works. She combines historical events with the rich Sami mytho!ogy.
” Vad var det vi sa”, “What did we say”, lithography
I had the great privilege to be able to attend a two days course in ” Narrative free embroidery” with Britta Marakatt- Labba a few weeks ago. It was very interesting and rewarding where she was very generous with advice and she told a lot about both her own art and other textile artists.
The Crows” is an image from the Alta conflict in the 1970:s. Crows are symbols of the authorities, who gradually transform into black-dressed policemen.
Another textile artist that I have discovered recently is Anneli Krantz. Here is a little embroidery that I bought for the lottery in the art association where I am a member.
“While the ice is melting” is an immensely beautiful exhibition at the Nordic Museum in Stockholm. It is a very ambitious story about nature and culture in the Arctic in light of climate change. The Nordic Museum has a rich collection of items from the Sami and the Inuite cultures. Incredibly rich and elaborate clothing with embroidery and application. Living on the edge of what is fysically possible the most important tool was – guess what- the needle! Not only clothing is sowed but also housing and kayaks etc.
The entrance hall is decorated to give the impression of walking into the ice.
Finalle my own humble effort to stich with the motif of fantasy medieval animals.