I finished my piece for the upcoming show at Norway House, The Baldishol: A Medieval Tapestry Inspires Contemporary Textiles.
I made a short video showing the process from design to completion. See it on YouTube here.
It’s been such a roller-coaster with the exhibit. Last fall, we–our Baldishol Exhibit Committee and staff from Norway House–had very ambitious plans for several tie-in events for the exhibit: an entire summer of fiber activities with tours, demos, links to other Scandinavian fiber activities, and a dedicated website. We did not get the grant we sought. In January we found a funder for the most wonderful tie-in event, a one-day seminar to be held at the American Swedish Institute on the same weekend as the Baldishol exhibit opening. Fabulous speakers were lined up from Norway, Denmark, Sweden, and Finland. Just as we were ready to make the sign-up form live, it became clear that international travel in June might be an issue. And of course, we were right. Here is what we all missed.
And then along came the pandemic.
April and May are represented on the original Baldishol Tapestry, and now we have our April and May of uncertainty and anxiety. (Not that it will end in June…) Norway House was in the same predicament as so many businesses and museums and non-profits. How do you make plans for June? As our exhibit page notes,
Coronavirus update: The exhibit will be mounted as planned! There will be changes due to social distancing needs. The festive opening will not happen. Norway House staff will stay up-to-date on current state orders regarding the pandemic and will follow guidelines for in-person visits, tours, and programs in accordance with Minnesota State guidance. However, the virtual aspects of the exhibit will be greatly enhanced. Watch for notices of online gallery talks, artist videos, a beautiful catalog in print and as an e-book, and more.
And what a wonderful exhibit it will be! As the amazing participating artists finish their pieces, you can learn about them and their textile processes on the exhibit page. So far, check out these eight (of 30). I am uniformly impressed by the creativity of the artists, and how thoughtful they were in taking the inspiration tapestry as the jumping-off point for their new works.
- Vladimira Fillion-Wackenreuther: Dress Me Up
- Kristen Anderson: Emerging Spring
- Shawn Cassiman: Even Heroes Need Warm Coverlets
- Mary Logue: The Baldishol Birds of April
- Sally Reckert: Marching Toward the Unknown
- Lindsey Marshall: A Bladishol Banner
- Laura Demuth: April in Iowa
- Kelsey Skodje: Women at the Helm
More articles will come through the next month. Keep checking the exhibit page, or you can sign up for the newly-created Norwegian Textile Letter Instagram site. Just search for norwegiantextileletter.
Finishing my Baldishol piece was so satisfying, for about half a day. (Check out the video.) Now this sight is making me frantic. I have another Frida Hansen-technique pandemic-related piece in mind. Warping soon.