Photo: slow creations

Photo: slow creations
Threads of life

söndag 24 juni 2012

Hemslöjden 100 years/Hemslöjden 100 år: The National Association of Swedish Handicraft Societies 100 years Part II

Fredrik Lindqvist at the exhibition Hemslöjden på Liljevalchs, Stockholm

This year the Swedish organization Svenska hemslöjdsföreningarnas riksförbund ("Swedish handicrafts organisation" or The National Association of Swedish Handicraft Societies) celebrates 100 years (see also my post from March). The general celebration information is here.The major jubilee exhibition takes place at Liljevalchs on Djurgården, Stockholm (Sweden), but there are also two other big exhibitions nearby (At Nordiska museet and Prins Eugens Waldemarsudde). But actually, on 366 days, celebrations take place with workshops, exhibitions and many activities all over Sweden. 

One rainy day recently I went to Liljevalchs to see "Hemslöjden på Liljevalchs (Swedish handicraft at Liljevalchs"; see the movie here). I must admit that although my expectations were fairly high, I was in a good sense overwhelmed by the exhibition.

I had read about the collective work "Can you see the leaves on the trees?" (and thought about joining, but was too late) that visitors encounter close to the entrance. 
2000 "leaves" are made by amateurs and professionals in three rooms. Liljevalch´s beautiful big rooms with high ceiling are filled with this amazing creative force vibrating from all the different leaves (one per person/family/school class etc).  At least three of my friends have contributed.  Every designer is listed in a booklet and here.

"Can you see the leaves on the trees?" at Liljevalchs
I was touched. I slowed down -  this part and the whole exhibition is a "slow exhibition" (and many objects are slow creations). Some leaves are of metal (like beer tops) or wood or other hard materials, but I think most were of textile or yarn to be precise. I was very inspired by some. 

Leave by Ane Löser
It is risky to try to see any "trends" in this diversity, but I could see focus on sustainability, questions of our human existence and feminist issues. Essnetial, very important issues for humankind, beauitifully and often playfully given material form. I love the heterogenous nature of this part and that no one was rejected (within a given format and the limit of 2000 leaves/participants)! At the end of the exhbition, all leaves will be auctioned off in collaboration with Tradera and Stockholm Consumer Cooperative Society for the benefit of Vi Agroforestry Project in East Africa. Bidding is between June 25 until September 2 at Tradera

Leave by Petra Jansson

After having gone through these three rooms with leaves you enter nine roms filled, well, the objects are rather sparsely put together, with themes like Between hope and despair, Bohccot (Northern Sami for reindeer) and roses and The exception that proves the rule. My general impression is poetic and restful which is amazing with the more than 900 objects (almost all for sale)

Travelling textiles: patterns and techniques beyond nations

In the big workshop area, I tried to spin for the first time, on a new Dutch spin wheel, under the expert supervison of Karin, ever so patient with a newbie. It was very interesting and magical to see how the wool thread was formed. I would ikie to try more! How cool would that be, to tell that I not only weaved or crocheted a picee, but also spinned some of the yarn... 
In this area, there are always Hemslöjden supervisors to guide and support visitors. This part is immensely important in my opinion, especially for youth, but also adults. Nämnden för hemslöjdsfrågor in Sweden have for quite a long time worked with focus on youths at for example pop and rock festivals with slöjd (handicrafts).

I learned a lot (like above about different types of sheep and their wool (and how spinning of the wool affects the look). 

To conclude, it is a very ambitious and amazing exhibition with an accompanying catalogue edited by Malin Vessby. It differs from the exhibition in a good way, encouraging even more pensiveness, reflections, creativity and last, but not least, DIY (do it yourself) attitude. I especially would like to point at two really good texts by Cilla Ramnek and Otto von Busch
I got new knowledge and many insights for both the soul and the creative mind through "Hemslöjden på Liljevalchs". The exhibiton runs until Sept. 2.
Thank you for empowering me in the short and long run and putting the light on soem of the challenges for mankind: sustainability, slow life and re-cycling vs. consumerism and harsh economism. Happy Birthday, hemslöjden
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