What happened in 1970?
What happened was that my mum and I were on a visit in Kristinestad/ Kristiinankaupunki in Finland. We went to my grandmother's cousin Imbi's house, where she was weaving as usually. And what an adventure. I was allowed to touch the loom. And look my eyes are closed while cherishing the strength of the loom. This day made up my mind: I had to learn how to weave to survive. Strange thought isn't it especially in our modern society when I should have chosen something like engineering to make a career. But I can't get away from it, I don't want to leave my universe of rag rug weaving.
Art and Craft Fair
November 1st - 5th there is the annual Art and Craft Fair in Reykjavik. This year I applied and have been granted a stand. I will take my Rag Rugs along and see if I can charm the visitors :) If you want to see more about the fair I think the best option is to look at their website . There is a lot to prepare for such an event. Not just the pieces but also pictures, chair, table ( how high, how wide etc?), brochure or not, visiting card what size and so on.
This also forces me to scrutinize myself, how I present myself and my work. I am very lucky to have a friend who will aid me with these arrangements. Her name is Þuríður Helga Jónasdóttir, she is an interior architect and she has a website . Her website is in Icelandic but if you press on the different options on the index bar you will see pictures and they describe what she is doing.
This picture on the left might be one of the pics that I will show at my stand at the fair. This is myself weaving.
past helps present
I like this image too. This is from the past. Everything that is not now is past or in the future. I think it is a bit frightening to think of these matters. I am now. But the now lasts for such a short time. There is always more past than present. Isn't it?
When I have written these words they are already the past. But...as soon as someone reads them they turn into the present. Isn't that strange. But again it proves Mr Einstein's theory that Time is relative. Past,present and future all exist simultaneously. Any comments?
Thinking about the past
I love this image. It is a sketch that could be a piece. It is the colours and the form of the woolen balls. I span (OE) the yarn from woolen tops from Shetland sheep. The natural colours of sheep as you can see. And the blue of the plastic mugs. These colours and shapes harmonize. And the white of the floor. I actually scrubbed that floor because it was filthily grey and I found this beautiful kind of white. (Makes me think of Whistler's white work). This white was amazing and while I had that space I kept it white. Now when I am looking again at this sketch I feel I did a good job and it feels inspiring too. I better get on with the autumnal weaving so I can start with something like this again. Really exciting.
Orange to pink to yellow to what?
I am thinking. The piece is still in orange and these bushes helped me pondering the next steps. Look at that orange part it is surrounded by yellow and green and there is a big carmine part too.
These colours are divine, aren't they?
The hard thing is to find the similar or same colours in the heaps of rags I have in my studio. I am not ready to photograph the heaps in my studio and put them on the blog. If you want to see the studio in full swing, you have to knock on my door, the real door :)
Actually one is never sure if anybody is reading the official diary that is called blog, that is open to the public on the internet.
Being creative in the loom is one thing but having decided to try to be creative in the written and share my thoughts with anybody is another thing. I am not a fine writer, actually I am a much better oral relater of stories and everyday events. My best blog would be a verbal blog in my studio, in front of an audience for a few minutes a day. Think about that. And I'd serve you tea and coffee. :) Even cake.
The decision being made
the dice is thrown
the rags will be assembled
starting the task
of beating the rugs
in the loom
I have been travelling in various places in Iceland recently and looking at the striking colours of summer. They differ. In Þórsmörk, a valley surrounded by 3 glaciers the colours were striking. There was grey, masses of grey as there was an volcanic eruption in the area 2 years ago. But the colours that caught my eyes was the green, the fresh singing green of early summer and yellow in big portions being flattered by violet and purple. And greenish yellow in all that fantastic symphony. This means I have got an idea for my next piece. I want to tell the story of summer. Unfortunately I didn't bring the camera along as I never bring a camera along when I work as a guide. Perhaps a silly whim of mine, certainly feels like that now.
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.
Anna María Lind, MA Textile Art Winchester School of Art.