One of the things I appreciated most about the ETN conference was the opportunity to see so many exhibits. We were based in the Textile Fashion Center, a fairly new facility which includes the university’s textile faculty and a museum of textiles (among other things), so there was a great deal to look at without ever stepping out of doors. I really enjoyed Everyday Matters, a juried exhibition by Nordic Textile Art, which considered questions of textile and value – a theme that came up several times throughout the event, but with more questions than answers. Wherever we went people were generous in allowing us to take photographs, which was great: if I didn’t have the images to remind me, I would have been too overwhelmed to hold on to any impressions at all!
Some of my favourite pieces from Everyday Matters (mouse-over for captions or click an image to enlarge; links to artists’ websites are at the end of the post)
The Finnish organisation TEXO has been celebrating its sixtieth anniversary with an exhibition called Narrative Thread which we saw at the Rydals Museum. In the rush of being herded back onto the bus I clean forgot my intention to buy a copy of the catalogue on the way out. However, I have tracked down an online version here.
Some of my favourite pieces from Narrative Thread
Other pieces I especially liked were Merja Keskinen’s Transparent Colors weavings (is it surprising I failed to photograph them effectively??) and Heijastus by Ulla-Maija Vikman (who had another piece of the same construction in Everyday Matters and I couldn’t catch either of them accurately). You’ll just have to look them up in the catalogue.
One of the highlights of the conference was the presentation of the Nordic Award in Textiles. This has been awarded annually for a few years, and the 2017 winner was Grethe Sørensen, a weaver from Denmark. We had the opportunity to see her astonishing solo exhibition at the Abecita Art Gallery. Below is my partial photo of ‘Rush Hour 5’ – visit Grethe’s website to see proper pictures. And you can read the jury’s statement about her work here.
The gallery used an adjoining room to show an accompanying exhibit of one piece by each of the previous winners, which was a great way of putting the award into context for those of us who didn’t know much about it.
Not an exhibition – but just as good! – was our visit to the studio of Kerstin Åsling-Sundberg when we were on a tour of Gothenburg’s Konstepidimin, an artists’ studio complex in a former fever hospital. The weavers in our little group all sighed with pleasure when we walked in and saw her loom surrounded by these lovely pieces. Kerstin has retired from teaching at the art college and this is her stash-busting project. There is a lovely profile of her here. It is in Swedish, but I found Google translate didn’t make too much of a mess of it.
Some artists’ links