Northenness in the art of international textile designers: Marianne Strengell and Marjatta Metsovaara

Tutkimustuotokset: KonferenssiesitysKonferenssipaperiTieteellinen


In Marjatta Metsovaara (1927-2014) and Marianne Strengell (1909-1998) designed textiles a viewer may find the touch of north. Metsovaara´s Kuusamo Sokos hotel (1973) interior textiles or Aurelia Borealis -tapestry (1982) in Oulu Music Centre are like textiles for the winter season. Strengell developed her own weaving techniques, with a unique sense of aesthetics, colours, and shapes and a perfect hand with the synthetic materials. Strengell´s multilayered and -coloured textiles, novel ways to use the metal or two-way rug piles prevent from a cold so that the lack of heat is not a problem. (Pietarinen 2009; Fiely 2006; Aho 2007.) The ice-cold colours and materiality warm up. They create a slowly woven moment just like in a Finnish textile designer Elsa Montell-Saanio´s story about carpet washing with her sister during the winter time. She loved age-long tradition of washing her carpets on the shore in an icy water. (Tenkama 1998.)

I am interested how image, weave and materials produce the surface contrasts that are the language of jacquard weaving. I have been working with media professor Eija Timonen in the University of Lapland, Faculty of Art and Design. She has been photographed ice several years. Her ice themed photos open up a different way of looking at Metsovaara´s and Stengell´s jacquard woven textiles. Image of ice is like a multilayered woven jacquard fabric. The ice themed photos and jacquard woven textiles tell stories through incremental and procedural processes. I am using the ice themed photos and Metsovaara´s and Strengell´s original textiles (from private archives and museum collection) to the potential of specific jacquard weaving technology to enhance design processes. The photos and textiles are like entrances into the narrative characters of structures: they say something about their different layers, nuances in colours and the differences in textures. Ornamentation and techniques linked to other mediums or materials are not only used as a basis for dating and references. (See Holyoke 2013; Natker 2012, 52.)

Aho, Esko, 2007. Marjatta Metsovaaran Revontuli-kuvakudos entiseen loistoonsa. Musiikkikeskuksen lämpiön suuri taidetekstiili puhdistettiin ja kunnostettiin Jyväskylässä. Kaleva 19.12.2007.
Holyoke, Julie, 2013. Digital Jacquard Design. Bloomsbury. London.
Nartker, Kate, 2012. Kate Nartker. 2011 Creative Promise Award for Student Excellence. Surface design Journal Fall / 2012, 52 - 53.
Pietarinen, Heidi, 2009. Teen huoneita ja suljen ovia. Marjatta Metsovaaran sisustustekstiilit tekstiilitaiteilijan representaatioina ja näyteikkunoina maailmalle. Lapin yliopistokustannus. Rovaniemi.
Tenkama, P. (1998). Arktinen horisontti: jokivarren värjäri Elsa Montell ja hänen taiteensa. Pirkko Tenkama ja Sisko Ylimartimo (Eds). Helsinki: Akatiimi.
TilaJulkaistu - 10 joulukuuta 2015
Tapahtuma International Conference on the History of Design and Design Culture. Commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the Birth of Tapio Wirkkala and Rut Bryk. - Korundi, Rovaniemi, Suomi
Kesto: 9 lokakuuta 201511 lokakuuta 2015


Konferenssi International Conference on the History of Design and Design Culture. Commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the Birth of Tapio Wirkkala and Rut Bryk.