I think it is amazing what a material archive like that can evoke. You can look at it with different eyes. You can look at it like some dusty archive of history, like yesterdays stuff, but then when you really start looking at it, it is very different to look at it in material form than in images. If it had been a power point i think the inspiration would have been very different. When artists start to look at a material archive, that has all this textures and the feeling of wool or unfinished sketches by some historical artist and the feeling of paper and the rustling of it and all these layers of knowledge, then it surely evokes very different things than just looking at images.
And you get a multi sensory experience that goes into your body in a multi sensorial way, i think that is really exciting as well.
This was the first time I got physical objects to learn from
I felt like it opened a lot of doors that pictures and texts cannot give you Can you describe that? When you can feel it and touch it and see how it is done it is really different.
Of course it is a massive part of our history, the archive of The Friends of Finnish Handicraft, so in that way it was really interesting and I wanted to dive into it immediately and after I looked around and got an idea of the background, after that i felt like (what was really interesting was) the sketches, which also shows in my collection, and the technical drawings, and the process when you move from a sketch to the drawing to the real object.
It reminded me of my grandma. My family comes from the north, and my grandma had this house in a secluded place north of Sodankylä and she had all kinds of old rugs and textiles and these things. I haven’t really thought about it, but when I saw the textiles from the archive they reminded me of all these things that I used to look at as a child and how I used to play with the patterns and think of those. I’ve always had a really wild imagination so even as a kid I used to think of them as games and cartoons and these things.
But that I was waiting for was not only to see the textiles, but also the papers, all kinds of materials that was used for archives, everything was old, there were photographs, and everything has a certain life – a patina, the silk papers in between the textiles were utterly beautiful, so it was more than I had expected.
It was like diving deep into another, different era and it felt quite overwhelming for me.
There was just part of the archive in the museum, but I think even that amount was…there was a lot of pieces
I became very curious and when I saw the samples I got the idea quite fast for the pieces I made for the exhibtion
What was it that mainly interested you?
I was interested in those simple functional textile samples, especially the rhythm of the twines and stitches, when you take a closer look you see how the fabric becomes more three dimensional
There are a couple of memories I have from the meeting when we had all the material out, an amazing selection of work. It was fun for me not being familiar with any of the works, really, but to know that these are really iconic works. The big rugs that now hang in the exhibition for example, now I know what they are, but then it was fresh.
So it was fun for me gradually discovering what the different things were.
And I loved the feeling in that big room in the museum
It was full, like the most exquisite flea market of these extraordinary artefacts.
Some of which you can see is a sequence, a group of works, whereas looking at others you were like, what is this, where does it come from- really extraordinary contrasts in the collection
And I also remember the atmosphere of all of us and the artists tentatively finding their way It wasn’t like people were rushing – it was careful and respectful and gradually we all talked ourselves around the tables that you had laid out
It must have been interesting for you guys who know the collection to see what we all as amateurs were going to land on. It was a fun moment