Monday, November 16, 2015

Woolfelt: Utility to Art

While in Sweden last month, Jo and I had a free morning to visit an incredible exhibit of work by Norwegian artist Inger Johanne Rasmussen at the Sven-Harrys konstmuseum (located in the Vasastan district of Stockholm).  The museum itself is a wonderful modern steel and glass structure build around the historic home of Sven-Harrys. We knew the address and rough location, but Jo and I couldn't find a local person on the Saturday morning sidewalk to point us in the right direction - we'd arrived on the opposite side of a large city park from the museum.  Finally, a handsome young Viking looked at my tiny iphone google map and pointed us across the park in the right direction!

En route, I was amazed to see this uber-civilized stroller parking at the playground. Every stall has a number!


Finally we came to this gorgeous building entrance, after having enjoyed a delicious sidewalk cafe fika!

A few members of the Rikstacket Board (the national quilt guild that had brought Jo and I to Sweden to teach) recommended that we check out this exhibit on Saturday morning while guild members attended their Annual General Meeting. They told us it was a fibre art exhibit of hand dyed and painted, recycled wool. I had no idea what to expect, certainly not the scale and intense colour that immediately captivated us when we entered the gallery.  

All of the work shown here was created by Inger Johanne Rasmussen and photographed by me with gallery permission. Please click on her linked name, then on the WORK tab of her website to see more photographs from this exhibit and other gallery shows of her incredible work!

Visit to Sven-Harrys Konstmuseum, Stockholm

Visit to Sven-Harrys Konstmuseum, Stockholm
detail from larger piece, shown above

Visit to Sven-Harrys Konstmuseum, Stockholm

Jo takes a closer look at "The Home I could Not Find" 2014

Visit to Sven-Harrys Konstmuseum, Stockholm
detail from larger piece, shown above

Visit to Sven-Harrys Konstmuseum, Stockholm
"The Land Between Dream and Reality " 2010. 
 To give you an idea of scale, this piece is 208 cm x 303 cm

Visit to Sven-Harrys Konstmuseum, Stockholm

"Magic Carpet" 2011
This piece lies completely flat, the curled corner and overlapping bottom edges are illusions created by the artist.

Visit to Sven-Harrys Konstmuseum, Stockholm
"Misplaced Heritage" 2007.
This was my favourite piece in the show. The colours appear so subtle in this short exposure, however when I opened my shutter for a longer, over-exposed shot below, you can see much more variation in the dyes. The workmanship in this construction is phenomenal - keep in mind that every piece is inlaid and butts edge to edge with neighbouring pieces.

Visit to Sven-Harrys Konstmuseum, Stockholm
An over-exposed photo of the piece shown above.

Visit to Sven-Harrys Konstmuseum, Stockholm

"Passed Down" 2005
Such clever use of perspective in this Trip Around the World variation. Can you spot the chairs?

Visit to Sven-Harrys Konstmuseum, Stockholm
"Attempt to Construct a Flower" 2013

Visit to Sven-Harrys Konstmuseum, Stockholm
detail from larger piece, shown above.

The only English material available for the show was a one-page handout of the artist's credentials and list of sponsors. The only reference to this specific work was to describe the material as "army footwraps". It appeared to me to be natural-coloured melton wool (that had been dyed), about 1/16" thick.  There were no English translations of artist statements for the individual pieces that I can share with you, but I was able to find some of the titles on the artist's website. 

This was certainly a most inspiring morning spent in Stockholm with a lovely friend!


ann said...

These are phenomenal. What amazes me is the various levels of thought and thecnique that is in each of the pieces. The colours chosen and placed so that the larger image appears. Those things in and of themselves are mind bending. Then the idea to stitch the smaller secondary images. What to stitch, how to stitch, how the image fits with the overall piece. Really, my head hurts just thinking about it. Thanks so very much for sharing these images Krista. I does seem as if that trip was idyllic.

Katie said...

Wow! Spectacular exhibit! I am so enjoying your trip to Sweden.

Stina... said...

Fantastic exhibition ... Happy you didn't miss out on this one.... Wouldn't have mind looking at it myself!

Leslie said...

I love Stockholm. Thank you for sharing that incredible exhibit.

Dianne said...

Her work is wonderful and the video on her site very interesting. Thanks for the visit with this amazing artist Krista!

DianeY said...

Beautiful! Wish I could see it in person. We're the pieces sewn together as we would use cotton in a quilt? Even a 1/16 inch thick, it seems like there might be a problem flattening those seams

Unknown said...

I absolutely love these. Thanks for introducing us to this wonderful artist. I couldn't find details on this but it looks like the little pieces are stitched together by hand in a blanket stitch. Is that right?