It is the elaborately embroidered caps that engage the viewer, bringing to mind the 17th and 18th centuries, though they are a Danish style from the 19th. The caps retain associations with childhood bonnets, demure femininity and hair-covering. For those unfamiliar with traditional Danish clothing, these photographs may conjure Vermeer’s young women. They were taken by Danish artist Trine Søndergaard who has explored her chosen themes through several series of photographs – Strude, Monochrome, Guldnakke and Interiors. The latter captures the sparse hallways and luminously grey windows of abandoned Danish mansions. When her work includes people, as it does in the remaining three, it includes clothing with observant intention. Viewed together it seems possible that the bonneted women could walk those halls, throw open those windows.
The bonnets are, as the artist explains, “traditional piece[s] of headwear for well-todo women in the mid-19th-century Danish countryside. This tradition has a fine touch to it, as the golden fabrics from which most of the caps were made were until then the privilege of royalty and nobility.” Are the objects in her photographs historic pieces or reconstructions? Does it matter? Each one represents countless hours of work and class status and provides a juxtaposition with the mass-market jersey tops and American-flag t-shirts below them. Make sure to catch Trine Søndergaard's current exhibition at Jackson Fine Art, Atlanta.
Until 3rd December.www.jacksonfineart.com This is an extract from Arianna E. Funk's article in the Folklore issue of Selvedge.