Textile Trilogy is a series of three exhibitions with contemporary Nordic artists working within textiles, in a collaboration between Fiber Arts Sweden (FAS) and KA Almgren's silk factory & museum. To choose an industrial history museum, and a still-functioning weaving mill, as a framework for an art exhibition, arouses expectations on both context and artistic intentions. If careless, the environment could be described as romantic, but then one has forgotten to take into account what has taken place here: the slamming looms, the heat and the cold, aching bodies, the skills, and the manual dexterity.
To weave, like many other textile-methods, includes a rhythm, a rhythm in the actual making, a repetition, often monotonous. There is a continuity, partly mechanical, but also in the transference of knowledge that stretches over long periods, even across millenniums.
Our story, if that is what it is, is closer in time. Yet, there is no escaping that everything we do is linked to history. Trilogy is often associated with something literary, with something text-based. Text and textile stem from the same word, the Latin te'xo, meaning to weave. We are catching on to something here.
Curatorer for the exhibitions are:
Sonja Löfgren-Birch - Artist, member of Fiber Art Sweden.
Anna T Wolgers - Artist, member of Fiber Art Sweden, professor of textile art HDK-Valand
With support from Stockholms stad, Iaspis - Konstnärsnämndens internationella program för bild- och formkonstnärer, Kulturrådet och Estrid Ericsons stiftelse.
Textile Trilogy - part 1 - Humankind
Contemporary textile art March 27 - May 15 2021.
Textile Trilogy - part I has "humankind" as a theme, which of course is a huge subject matter. However, when it comes to textile materials and methods it is natural to use this as a starting point. Textiles are interconnected to the senses, with the body, skin - touch. Textile management is also closely associated with thinking, calculations, and technical skills - knowledge. Textile as knowledge and experience is a significant part of the development of our civilisation, dating back to when a tool such as a needle was experimented with by inventors of the Ice Age.
Textile as an artistic medium is well-suited for the theme "humankind" through its connotations to body and intelligence. Thereto, we stand as real-life examples of this as we view the work. Whatever the artists intended to portray, as viewers we cannot escape it. In different ways we can make an effort to penetrate the surface, to consider different perspectives, or try to understand. We all have different degrees of patience, knowledge, and open-mindedness or interests. If this now is a story, the first act of a drama, or if it is a statement, a tableau, a vision draped in an artistic coating that Textile Trilogy - part I is attempting to express, it is still your gaze that will ultimately determine. Whatever you see or experience, it is right. This is the privilege of art, to not require an answer, a correct response.
The works exhibited, during the spring of 2021, at K.A. Almgren's silk factory evoke empathy. We can recognize ourselves in for example Kari Steihaug's work of collected and unfinished knits. Everything does not turn out the way you think it will.
It is about longing, grief mixed with humor, perhaps of our query of how we ended up here. The handling of textiles includes so many metaphors,
the actual craft, that is to say the method, is a language of its own. Anna Sjons Nilsson cut threads are merciless, a moment of death. All the more, in Liisa Hietanen's realistic portraits of people in her locality, the threads unite - Weijo is seated wearing a warning vest and held together through the single thread of the crochet.
Under the skin, we are all the same. Through thin layers of threads and organza, Helen Heldt Hortlund creates something I would like to call sensitivities, or perhaps critical points - strong, fragile nebules or viral cultures..