I ritens rum - om mötet mellan tyg och människa
In a Room of Rites – Cloth Meeting Human
The project In a Room of Rites – Cloth Meeting Human is an artistic research project on textiles, rites and death, where I create textile art in the form of a funeral pall (in the artwork: Kortedalakrönika (Kortedala Chronicle) and infant wrapping cloths (in the artwork: I sin linda/Wrapped in Cloth). The initial aim of the project is to explore what textiles can mean at farewells and in funeral rituals, as well as to reflect on the experiences I gain in my art making. Funeral textiles in the form of funeral palls is an old tradition that has gained renewed relevance during the last decade. Through my own work with funeral palls in recent years, ideas of new textiles within this context gradually emerged, one of these being a wrapping cloth intended for children who were stillborn, or who died during childbirth, and where I asked myself the questions: what should a wrapping cloth of this kind look like, and how should it be woven? By weaving, and reflecting on these questions, my practical knowledge of textile art-making grows and develops – in a context where an intertwining interaction takes place between human life and cloth. My exploring takes an inward direction towards an artistic act of doing, and takes a more outward direction by examining the textiles in their contexts – together with the people who use them – through an inquiry moving between material, room and action. The manufacturing of textiles through hand-weaving, collective making and industrial production, also creates possibilities for reflecting on other aspects of doing. Artistic processes and art works are described in greater depth, and in the form of a reflexive investigation in the first person, in order to present a background narrative to my experience. Reflecting, I discovered wrapping and covering to be two very central textile-related actions when someone dies. When cloth meets human in the covering or wrapping of the dead, the meeting that comes into being here is of an absolute nature, that is: a person dies and we cover his or her face. The cloth becomes a symbol of the separating process, as well as of the separating line or border. Wrapping can, however, be an action linking birth to death. We are born into textile material, into cloths – and leave, wrapped in cloths – whilst being accompanied by a gesture of an embracing nature. How the wrapping cloths that came into being are experienced when put into practice will be the next step.
Göteborgs universitet, Högskolan för design och konsthantverk
Forskningsprojektet är externfinansierat av Göteborgs Slöjdförening. Röhsska museet/Göteborgs Stad har varit arbetsgivare under merparten av forskningsperioden.