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"Views"

Textile exhibition and workshop with artists Gun Johansson, britta Marakatt-Labba, Agneta Andersson, Victoria Andersson

About "Views"

The power of the hand and the power of the thought – here are stories that change shape and become images on linen and patches of cloth. Here are stories that are woven in threads, drawn in charcoal, shaped in metal, or rendered in fragile glass.

The textile heritage is fundamental among women creators here in the north. No wonder – some have always gone before, and been way-finders for others.
But what was once skills for everyday needs have found their way into new forms and expressions. Nowadays the materials do not even need to be the traditional ones, the intention still shines through. The received wisdom and storytelling of humanity unite us through time and space. But they may also divide us with sharp turns. In the globalized world we live in today, it is possible to discover both the similarities and the differences.

Gun Johansson travels regularly far into the world’s corners and gathers impressions which she then works further while staying in her small mountain cabin in Abisko in northernmost Sweden. By the hearth she weaves together the stories about the huge dunes of the Hongorian Els of Mongolia with the tales of the Northbothnian mountains, creating something completely new and different.

Britta Marakatt-Labba resides in the middle of Sámi culture and carries forward the understanding and knowledge based on necessity that has been kept alive through the centuries. Patiently and assiduously she has called forth history through her use of needle and thread. She often uses linen fabric as substrate, but also fish skin, plastic or any material within reach at the time – the tool set of Britta Marakatt-Labba is as richly ample as her art is unpredictable, down to the least stitch.

Agneta Andersson has equally a strong textile foundation while she has branched into other media over the years. She has, for instance, cast textiles into glass, and has brought glass into textiles – all to stir up the norms of conventional notions. She creates contrasts where the different materials suddenly become evident, impacted, and come into their own. It is like the mountain of mining debris in her home town of Kiruna that has to be moved in order for the town to stay alive.

Victoria Andersson creates embroideries that slowly develop during many hours of work into reporting of news or sudden insights. Her embroidery portrays acts of memory, heritage of kinship and origins, but are also statements strongly anchored in a time that is both here, in the moment, as well as in the future.

All of these artists are now exhibiting in a country far from ours, China, with a textile heritage we can only dream of.

/Marianne Söderberg

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