Issue 61 North

£11.95 GBP

November/December 2014


A FEW YEARS AGO Lidewij Edelkoort curated an exhibition, NorthandSouth, in Stockholm. The exhibition paired objects from Scandinavia and Africa – geographically disparate parts of the world – yet what was surprising about the exhibition was the similarities, not the differences, between objects as diverse as spoons and blankets. The shared aesthetic was based on simplicity and integrity born out of economic necessity. In this issue we look North where the use of textiles is linked to survival in the harsh climate. We explore the work of fashion designers from Greenland, Iceland and the Faroe Islands, through the beautiful photographs exhibited at

The Nordic Fashion Biennale, imagined by photographers Sarah Cooper and Nina Gorfer. The exhibition, which is called The Weather Diaries and is now on show at the National Museum of Photography in Copenhagen, explores how the homeland of the designers has informed their practice. I hope you will take the time to visit our blog and view the video which documents their process.

We have beautiful images from Bryan Alexander, a travel photographer who specialises in documenting the life of the Arctic’s indigenous peoples and the issues that affect them. He has spent more than 40 years working in isolated native communities around the Arctic and introduces us to the costumes and culture of the Finnish Sami. Their intricately embroidered costumes make me feel Christmas is on the way.

The Nordic countries have always been a hub of creativity. But their traditions are not locked in the past as Annhelén Olsson explains in her article about wool embroidery from the south of Sweden. The same is true of Ryijy Rugs, that emerged in the 16th century and grew in popularity until, by the 1960s, they were a part of most Finnish homes. If you want to recreate a Scandinavian interior Diana Woolf highlights talented designers in Insider Trading, and the apartment of textile atelier Violise Lunn, offers festive inspiration. I’m looking forward to putting up my decorations and wish you all a happy holiday!

Polly Leonard, Founder



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