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Selected Pieces from Slow Art at  The National Museum in Stockholm

I saw a great exhibit in Sweden recently called Slow Art.  It was shown at the National Museum in Stockholm and contained not very many pieces, only about 30. But each one was exquisite. The emphasis was on how long it takes, how painstaking the process of creation is if you are an artist/craftsman. Swedes have a special term for crafts that is not derogatory but reflects the mastery of the material and the independent thinking that goes into making the piece.


Dress made of Lucite

The enclosed image is of a dress made of many small recycled Lucite pieces put together with thin copper wire.  Each tiny piece has  drilled holes and as I have learnt to make holes in Lucite I know how hard it is not to shatter the piece. The effect was ephemeral, weightless and at the same time it was a sort of incarnation of femininity. The exhibit also had small free embroideries, tiny landscapes, only about 5 x 7 inches, little jewels.


There was also a huge paper- cut, white, stretching across the room, bringing to mind Beatrice Coron’s work, seen at The Light Art Design Gallery in Chapel Hill  this summer.

Here is a link to a pdf in English that you can print and is about the show.

There were two other exhibits in Stockholm this summer, celebrating the hand made and the slow.  One was at the Liljevalchs Museum, and here I had hoped to participate myself.  In the spring there was a call for artists and you could ask to get a leaf form sent to you and you could make this thin plywood form of a simple leaf into whatever you wanted. 

There were 2000 participants from all over Sweden, from age 6 to 87, and all these leaves were assembled into trees in this museum.  It was rather an overwhelming sight. In the museum one could see the 2000 leaves assembled into trees in this Swedish community art’s project.  


Liljevalchs Museum

All  kinds of materials had been used, fabric and yarn and threads and glass and wood and bits of CDs and paper and paint and string and lace. The museum also had several rooms set up for  “try yourself”  and I spent a bit of time sewing on a long table cloth arranged in the middle of the room where people of all ages had sat down sewing with needles and thread provided.  Whatever you wanted to learn there was a person to teach you.  There were stations for wood working, knitting, braiding, and lace making. Weaving was demonstrated in a third museum where twelve looms wee set up and women were demonstrating different ways of threading and weaving, very impressive and very inspiring.

Paper Dress by Anita Wolfenden

After viewing all these exhibits, you might ask what was I interested in doing next.   I decided to make a dress of bits of paper remnants, alas not wired together but glued. This paper construction is 46 inches high.  Here is a snapshot of it hanging in my studio.


See other artwork of mine at my website. I also show at the FRANK gallery.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Anita, thanks for reporting on this lovely show. I love the idea of “slow” art and I'm going to keep it in mind. Your work definitely has that quality. Lew Graham

  2. Anita, I enjoyed so much your report on the “slow art” exhibit. I believe those midnight sun countries have more time to create art works which take so much time and attention. There also seems to be more respect for artists abroad who work with textiles from beginning to end and all of the steps in between which are necessary. It would be nice to have a “slow art” exhibit here. My mentor is always telling me to slow down…when painting on silk…it takes a life time to learn how to master and utilize time.

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