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MFA Textile-Body-Space

Karin Bäckström

Seemingly Ordinary – Syjuntan, dold bakom textilens täckmantel


Kitchen towels, table cloths, curtains and bed sheets — Seemingly ordinary everyday items that nowadays can be found in large quantities at every flea market almost for free. These are often skillfully executed, well-crafted objects made by someone who remains unknown. A few embroidered letters are usually the only clue to who the craftsperson behind the piece is. These materials are filled with memories and experiences and they must have a lot of stories to tell. A textile treasure and a timeline of women’s craft. In this project these ordinary everyday objects have taken on a new form. The project aims to celebrate domestic textiles, textile craft, women and femininity through colorful and playfully shaped textile sculptures.

Through a fictional narrative about a Syjunta that it passed down through five generations, this project explores second hand textiles as carriers of stories. Inspired by historical events from the beginning of the 20th century until now, these sculptures carry stories of women’s history in Sweden, highlighting a material and craft made by makers who often remains unknown.

Seemingly Ordinary – Syjuntan, dold bakom textilens täckmantel, is about something that at first glans might not be seen or say everything. It´s about what is going in behind. Behind a closed door, behind the appearance of a material and behind a colorful and playful sculpture. Behind ruffles and lace, something more can be found if you just dig a little bit deeper. The sculptures can be perceived as just shapes made from seemingly ordinary material, but behind the textile cover lies a deeper meaning, they have something to say. Here the extraordinary is found in the ordinary, and in these old and used textiles, every thread carries a story.