The STITCHES exhibition presents the current Finnish art of crafts and the products of crafts, creativity and visionary skills. Coordinated by the Finnish Crafts Organization Taito, the Stitches exhibition received a total of 172 entries from 75 artists. The works for the exhibition were selected by visual and textile artist Ulla Pohjola. The exhibition includes works from 30 artists.
The Finnish Crafts Organization Taito has designated embroidery the Crafts Technique of the Year 2018, and the Stitches exhibition is one of the main events of this theme year.
Ulla Pohjola talks about the works displayed and the selection process:
“It was very gratifying to receive so many great entries for the exhibition. The theme was approached from diverse points of view using many different techniques and materials. The spectrum of entries was extremely broad: the technical skills, sense of form, surprising material choices, the subjects of the works and the messages revealed by them provided a fascinating opportunity to explore the art of crafts today.
“Many of the works selected for the exhibition displayed a magnificent boldness and open-mindedness of expression and they also interpreted the theme of stitches in an exciting, personal way. Some works didn’t even have embroidery as their main technique. Just a few stitches combined with other techniques, such as woodcut, can produce a harmonious, relevant and personal interpretation. Many of the works were painting-like and had representational subjects. During the selection process, I wasn’t given the names of the artists, just pseudonyms, to ensure a fair process. The originality of interpreting the subject, the freshness of the idea and the expressiveness of execution were the criteria for selection.
“All the artists whose works were selected were women. Many of the works deal with subjects that highlight the emotions and events relevant to a woman’s life. Old textiles, various recycled materials and natural fibres are still very popular materials, but others, such as plastic, cardboard, leather, wood and metal are often used alongside more traditional elements in these works.
“I would have liked to see entries with even more humour. There would have been room for more horseplay and fooling around.”
The entries received for the exhibition reveal an immense enthusiasm and love of crafts, of small and large stitches. It’s a privilege to be shown how traditions are appreciated and respected on the one hand, while at the same time the artists are prepared to break down barriers and seek new forms of expression.
The exhibition is coordinated by the Finnish Crafts Organization Taito.
Open Mon-Fri 10am-18pm, Sat 10am-16pm, Sundays closed.
The artists included in the Stitches exhibition: