I wandered around the lavafield Gálgahraun today as the Wandering Spinster. It was a windy day with a few snowflakes reaching the south-west corner of Iceland where Gálgahraun is situated. The days spent in the field have been beautiful in some sense but very wearing to, devastating actually. When trying to protect the lavafield from the bulldozers with other demonstrators we were arrested and put in solitary confinement for half a day. It didn't brake us completely. Some people among us who have been demonstrating mostly in the written for more than a decade to stop the building of the road are completely devastated and feel they can not step into the lavafield any more. Most of the people are in good spirits in spite of the sad days in the resent weeks.
You can read a bit about this event here
If it doesn't kill you it strengthens you, as the saying goes, and I think I will survive to make a few more Wandering Spinsters.
You can watch the latest short movie if you care to. A lot of thanks to the cameraman, Kári,that I grabbed in the lava, it was too windy to let the tripod stand on it's own!
You can see more about outdoor spinning on my website here
Spinning on a market square
I was spinning goat hair on the market square in Kristinestad, Finland when the newpaper man came by.
Another hill: Kittelberget
On the morning of June 20th I and my friend Eva Wickoholm-Ekman went to this hill Kittelberget, in Svartå / Mustio, Southern Finland. The previous day it had been sunny and we had hoped it would prevail but alas, no. The hill isn't very tall I don't know how tall. perhaps 60 m, but it is one of the higher ones around there.
The original plan had been to go to Bytesberget, which name is related to Bötombergen that I span on in Kristinesta. These name indicate a sacred place for worship or celebration.
But Eva suggested this one instead. At the base of the hill there are some kettles, kittlar in Swedish, remains from the end of the Ice age that ended around 10000 years ago, when the glaciers melted and there was water running on the rocks turning stones that ground the kettles or holes in the bedrock.
It wasn't an easy spin. It rained and drizzled and I was wet and the goat hair that I was spinning was damp. But I still managed to spin some thread. Eva did her part of the excursion and photographed the deed.
Another friend of mine, Teija Seppä lent me her spinning wheel that originated from her grandmother.
Thanks to good friends I can continue praising the good things of the past, present and future and nature itself.
Spinning on hills
It has been quite a spring and summer.
Full of spinning.
I was traveling in Finland amongst other places I visited the town where my Finnish grandmother grew up in, Kristinestad. It is now Finland's only Citta-Slow town. I span on the drop spindle on market square of Kristinestad during their knitting day June 8th. I totally forgot to photograph the event and am hoping to receive some pics sooner or later.
I also borrowed a spinning wheel, a traditional Finnish one from Hemslöjdsgården (handicraft place) in Kristinestad and went spinning on Bötombergen that is a hill that has remains of old cultures that seemed to use the place for worship or celebration. Now there is a ski lift operating in the winter. As Österbotten / Pohjanmaa is a flat area actually a former sea bed the Bötomberg hill is the highest peak by far with its 129 m.
Bötombergen are called Pyhävuroi in Finnish meaning sacred hill.
I also span on the Kvarnberget, in English Millhill, in Finnish Myllyvuori. There is a pretty old mill on the hill and I found the rotating spinning wheel going well with the rotating wings of the mill, even if the mill wings are stationary today.
My spinning was praise of the past, the nature and for a better future.
I have two pieces of art work on display outside this summer. Both are affected by forces of nature.
The one in the exhibition "Under the clear sky" in Reykjavik is affected by the weather. The one in Finland is affected by the weather in the sense that it has been warm with occasional rainfall and the vegetation is growing real fast. If you look at my earlier post about exhibitions this summer you can see images of the two works looking different at earlier stage.
The warp of fate has been torn apart by the rain and the storm in Reykjavik a couple of days ago. Can we affect fate? And the question also is should I affect fate by going to Urðastígur and replace the threads in the warp? What do you think?
The great "Last goat of Iceland" in "Muu maa" at Haihatus, Joutsa in Finland is affected by the growth of plants in the meadow it is lying on. If the grass and flowering plants are left unattended they might suffocate the goat and it will disappear. This great goat represents the Icelandic goat race that is about 850 goats now and is and endangered species.
Part of the exhibition "Undir berum himni = Under the open sky"
Great pictures of the Warp of Fate that a friend, Ólafur Jón took. It has already rained and been windy so Warp has survived so far. I am very pleased that this piece is where it is and very thankful to the owner of the house that kindly let me have holes drilled into her precious house to be able to mount the warp.
It is of importance that the Warp of Fate is situated at Urðarstígur named by Urður or Urd one of the three Norns of Destiny in old Norse mythology. Urður for past , Verðandi for present and Skuld for the future.
In Iceland we should be able to learn from the mistakes of the past. Unfortunately barely the majority of voters in Iceland have have in this year 2013 given us back the people that made it possible for Iceland to go bankrupt 5 years ago! The governing forces of Iceland are now arrogant people who will not learn from their fellows' mistakes.
I span the wool during the winter of the financial collapse of Iceland, 2008-09 and warped it.
Part of the exhibition "Muu maa = Other country"
I am very concerned about the Icelandic goat race and have wanted for quite a while to make art for the goats. Part of my concept is to make art from discarded material. The goat works are made from the coarse hair of goats, material that is left when it has been dehaired from the cashmere that is a desired material. Also discarded wooden boards and old desk tops. The name of the work is The Last Goat of Iceland. That would be the most frightful thing, if the goats vanish from earth because humans can't take care of precious things.
Last Goat progress
There has been progress with the last goat. Not only the work I have done but SPRING is here and the grass around the great cross stitch goat is growing and it is of course GREEN and keeps growing and the question is how much should I allow the grass to grow? Should it cover the goat? The whole idea behind this work is the endangered goat species of Iceland. I have done some practical non artistic work (is work ever non artistic?) searching for cashmere in Iceland as you can see on my goat/cashmere site: http://weberstrasse-cashmere.weebly.com/
The two other pieces are made with old desktops, wall cladding, and last but not least hand spun goat-hair-thread. I try to stick to the reusing, recycling, up-cycling idea.
The big goat on the ground is akin to the Great White Horse of Uffington
The Great Goat of Iceland or The Last Goat of Iceland as its correct name is, could be akin to the mythical goat Heiðrún. That is a good thought.
The Last Goat
I made a goat pattern for knitting or cross stitch embroidery a few years ago. And now I am working with the this pattern in different ways. This in one work. The cross stitch is made with yarn spun from the coarse hair of the goats that I have been combing in the past few years. I want to create more goat art and am thinking of various ways to express my concern for the Icelandic goat race.
I have been spinning on my dropspindle. I use what is called a top whorl spindle. That is the type we use in Iceland and probably have since the settlement in the 800's. I have this idea abut spinning outdoors. It is fun and soothing. It is something that women have done for ages as it was the women's task and it was not always done indoors, the weather permitting. I thought it was right to spin in front of an old building all grey from the elements and praising the past. As far as I am concerned we are the past. Think about skills, genes, heritage and evolution. We didn't just pop out of our mothers' wombs
Anna María Lind, MA Textile Art Winchester School of Art.