Guest Blog post by Caroline Östlund, Exhibition Manager, Handarbetets Vänner (Friends of Handicraft) Gallery in Stockholm. “I translate stolen threads of thought; a text fragment, an image, a fleeting feeling - they boil down with my past experiences and life-patterns, creating new images and objects. The images grow out in the room into installations.” - Emelie Röndahl “Reference works” by Swedish textile artist Emelie Röndahl is, to say the least, a personal exhibition. She explores subjects such as security, housing and memory. Röndahl herself explains that, undeniably, they’re all on the theme of “death”. “The shore of Amygdala” is a two-piece hommage to Röndahl’s unborn child. In the first part “The shore of Amygdala (memorial)” the piece is placed on the floor of the gallery, similar to a memorial site of a fatal accident. An illustrated picture of a child is the centrepiece surrounded by plastic flowers with an addition of carded wool figures in bright colours. “The shore of Amygdala” (memorial) is physically a small part of the exhibition but ever so poignant. In the second part “At the shore of Amygdala (seeing what I want to see)” the same illustrated picture of a child is translated into three different pieces hanging from a children's swing. The motif, the child, is repeated but the rya weaves’ yarn seems to grow more for every piece in the series. In the far right piece the child is no longer visible, rather it looks overgrown, sort of like the yarn has taken over. The powerful piece “Rana Plaza - the Collapse” draws attention to the collapse of the textile factory, Rana Plaza in Bangladesh 2013. The disaster led to the death of 1,129 textile workers, twice as many people were injured. A lot of the workers were young girls. The piece is a woven translation of one of the journalistic photos from the scene of the accident., s Hanging from a scaffold “Rana Plaza - the Collapse” is made with rya technique using wool on linen warp, with black sleeves from recycled H&M-shirts on the bottom. Poignant yet again. Röndahl uses a lot of plant dyeing in her pieces and seems to have an overall awareness of her surroundings and her ecological footprint. A textile artist of and for the future.
6 April - 14 May 2016www.hv-textil.se