“Kuosien juhlaa” exhibition at Forssa Museum
On May 6th there will be the vernissage of “Kuosien juhlaa” exhibition at the Forssa Museum. The exhibition lifts up retrospective pattern designs from 16 Scandinavian textile designers.
We had a chat with the curator of the exhibition, Stockholm-based Ms. Maria Jernqvist, who calls herself a fabric entrepreneur. She is a collector, buyer, and seller, and she takes care of the contemporary production of retro patterns for a collection of fabrics. Also, she has been sharing her enthusiasm for textiles and textile design with the readers of Scandinavian Retro -magazine as one of its writers.
What visitors of “Kuosien juhlaa” can expect to see?
We have chosen to highlight the work of 16 textile designers, all-female. They have been working as in-house or freelance designers for various Scandinavian textile mills. Often times textile designers have left anonymously in the background, even though it is actually the designers who have an essential role in making the brands visible, attractive and valuable. This exhibition highlights especially the designers while the brands and mills are left in the background.
The timeline of the exhibition is between the 1930s and the end of the 1980s. The earliest and latest atelier that the exhibition highlights are both located in Korkeavuorenkatu in Helsinki. In between, we will make pitstops at several other ateliers in other parts of Finland as well as in Sweden. I have a personal relationship with all those textile designers and their descendants, so it will be an interesting trip to the history of Scandinavian pattern design!
Besides the patterns, there will be also plenty of other materials out there, that allow the visitors to enter “behind the scenes” of the pattern designers’ world decades ago. To get the most out of the exhibition, book a guide to the exhibition at the Forssa Museum!
To whom are you setting up the exhibition?
For everybody! Some of the audience will find the exhibition nostalgic, as they recognize pattern designs from their childhood or youth. The bold usage of colors in the pattern designs will be inspiring to the younger generation, e.g. design students. My previous exhibitions have created a “WOW” effect among the visitors, and that is where I’m aiming also with “Kuosien juhlaa”.
The exhibition is equally suitable for lovers of history. Females as entrepreneurs were very rare at that time, however, these 16 strong ladies and their art are now thought to be an essential part of the history of the Scandinavian textile industry.
All in all, I hope that people visiting the exhibition would begin to value the textile treasures that they might have hidden in their storage rooms. Textiles are an essential part of our cultural heritage, and thankfully the value of this heritage has been raising during the past years.
“Kuosien juhlaa” is about retrospective Scandinavian pattern designs and artists. Are there any thoughts that you have about contemporary Scandinavian pattern designs?
I wish to see more colors in contemporary pattern designs and textiles. Today, the color palettes are often times very pale, with tones of gray, pink, or beige being the extremes. It is understandable that the designers need to adapt to the demand of the pattern design buyers. However, the trend forecasts could be bolder in terms of colors so that the demand for colorful patterns would increase. This would make possible the return of bold colorways that the Scandinavian designers are masters of.
Kuosien juhlaa -exhibition at the gallery Vinkkeli, Forssa Library 2nd floor, Wahreninkatu 4.
Open May 6th-June 3rd 2022.
Main image: Forssa Museum, Pattern images: Maria Jernqvist