I have been travelling. Not for a very long time but I managed to get away from Iceland for a while. It is vital to get away from home and be inspired by being away. I visited the isle of Harris in the Outer Hebrides. Also Lewis and Kilda. If you are familiar with these places you will realize that they remind one of Iceland in some ways but are totally different in other. The rocks of these islands are ancient while Iceland where I live is a young island, mere 16 million years old while the Hebrides are closer to 100 million years old. All these islands have in common that they are places where the elements of nature are at the doorstep. The colours of the land is similar, the smell of ocean and the sheep traffic.
I met Donald John Mackay, a weaver of Harris tweed. A way of weaving that is different from mine but still the ideas often overlap. I also met a ceramic artist and a photograph artist who run the gallery The mission house http://www.themissionhouse.co.uk/.
I enjoyed the company of the great hosts of the Old School House where I was accommodated for almost a week.
On the air plane back to Iceland we flew over the Hebrides. The weather was perfect and I could see all the islands, the roads, the houses I visited and everything. Imagine being a bird. I was in awe looking out through the windows and it didn't cross my mind to photograph all this beauty from the air before now, when I am back home and writing this and thinking I should add a photograph to the blog. But I have the images in my head and they are the inspiration.
The sun is shining and the weather is a delight. I am going out. More later.
This is a picture taken by Stéphanie Morissette, a fellow artist living in Montréal. She photographed me at the loom in 2002, when we both had residency in the art centre Straumur in Hafnarfjörður, Iceland. I was weaving the piece "A proposal for a new coat of arms for the republic Iceland." Stéphanie was drawing, animations. She makes great political animations. You can have a look at her website .
The weaving is in a bit of standstill today. Need to solve a small problem concerning how I am going to let one blue turn into another one.
I am a visual artist because what I make is meant to be visually interesting or challenging. I am also a conceptual artist, because what I make is an elaborate idea that I want to share with an audience. I use weaving as a medium simply because I like weaving. I use rags because I think it is important to use material that is not exhausting any resources. It takes skill to relate a story in the loom with rags. Skill of weaving, creating, thinking and more. Therefore it is important that other humans see what I make and criticise it in order to create a dialogue, and I the maker will understand whether the peers comprehend my creations or not.
This is one reason why I made this website and maintain this blog. It is fantastic to get response to the art work and that is also a reason for me , perhaps others too, to exhibit my stuff. A website is a kind of exhibition. Or isn't it?
The weaving proceeds slowly but that is the way. Sometimes I have to take a brake to observe and of course, to think. There are various things that help the thinking like talking to the neighbours cat or to observe plants and the sky. I mean these things help the clogged thought to disintegrate and new thoughts to emerge and solve the problem that lurks in the loom. Lurks in the loom. I wonder what the readers of this blog think when they get this glimpse of my own loom-universe. Is it weird?
Yesterday was a goat-road-trip day. Went with photographer Kristín Bogadóttir http://www.ivisual.com/kristinboga/ to check out a couple of goat farms.
I am studying the possibilities to use cashmere of the Icelandic goats ad this race is an endangered species and needs ways to earn their living.
I have a separate page for the goat project http://weberstrasse-cashmere.weebly.com/ and in Icelandic http://weberstrasse-kasmirull.weebly.com/
If you care to have a look.
Það fyrirfinnast litir í hinu föla vori sem eru bjartir og sterkir eins og gulvíðirinn. Ekki skrýtið að hann heiti gulvíðir. Og blár litur himinsins eins og var á myndinni sem ég sett inn í gær. ég er byrjuð að vefa verkið. 10 cm komnir, heils dags vinna. Þetta gengur hægt fyrir sig en mér líður vel í vefstóls veröld minni.
There are items in the bleak spring that are bursting with colour like the tea-leaved-willow. It's name is yellow willow in Icelandic, no wonder. Another strong colour in contrast to the faded ones is the blue sky. As was in the pic I posted yesterday.
I've started weaving the piece of the spring colours. 10 cm, a whole days work. The procedure is slow, but I love that universe of mine in the loom
I am thinking. Cogito ergo sum. I think therefore I am. I am thinking of the weft. I am thinking of the colours I collected two days ago when I went hiking. I have been cutting rags and thinking. I am getting there. The warp is empty and the mind is full of the spring colours, the bleak spring colours of Iceland. I will fill the warp with the spring colours.
Today was a sunny bright day that was superb for a bit of hiking to get some exercise and to look at colours. It is spring and the colours in nature are bleak: Winter-spring yellow of winter grass ( sinugult), sun-green moss, yellow buds of Arctic willow. And then the shimmering blue of water mirroring the clear crisp sky. I have to ponder about these colours to see what I can do with them.
It is absurd that hanging in and at a loom could be so fantastic, tying threads and even out slacks. But for me it is a thrill. I have been changing my mind and altering some major things. Mean while I am visualising the next piece I am going to weave. Letting my vision float around all the rags surrounding me in Weberstrasse. It is satisfying. Reminds me of a favourite film of mine: The piano by Jane Campion.
Anna María Lind, MA Textile Art Winchester School of Art.