A 26-metre-long tapestry titled Archipelago by artist and designer Kustaa Saksi was unveiled earlier this month in the Europa building in Brussels, in honour of Finland’s third presidency of the European Union. The work was developed and produced in the TextielLab: the professional workplace for experimentation and innovation in the TextielMuseum in Tilburg. The tapestry will be on display in the Europa building until the end of December 2019.
Archipelago was commissioned by the Finnish government. The tapestry comprises 18 separate woven sections that are joined together to form an imposing work that measures two metre wide and 26 metres long. The piece depicts an abstract image of the Finnish coast and its flora and fauna. The shapes reflect Finland’s nature and landscape: from microscopic details of leaves and rhythmic structures that are reminiscent of water, to decorations inspired by flowers. By using technical yarns, Saksi was able to apply a 3D relief to the work, something that is rare in tapestries.
Amsterdam-based Kustaa Saksi (1975) was born in Finland and studied graphic design at the Finnish Institute of Design. Graphic storytelling is central to his textile art and installations. He creates fantasy worlds consisting of playful and paradoxical shapes that are almost psychedelic in nature. His work can be found in collections around the world and has been exhibited, among others, in the Cooper Hewitt Museum in New York, the Victoria & Albert Museum in London and the TextielMuseum in Tilburg. He has also made commissions for Nike, Issey Miyaki, Marimekko and others.