Marcia Harvey Isaksson is an artist whose main line of inquiry is our common cultural heritage, using textile techniques as a vehicle to navigate her investigations. She is interested in site-specific narratives, working often with a mix of media, from video, to sculpture, to performance. For information about her exhibition design practice, please visit sqcircle.se. For information about her textile and fiber art gallery, please visit fiberspace.se.
Roughly a year ago I was awarded a grant by the Swedish Art Grants Committee to work on a project I had then named Woven Weft Weave. The project has now changed name and it explores the narratives of the matriarchs in my family, woven together with mythological narratives of godesses from many different belief systems.
The result is a two-part piece: An oration and a performance. The performance will take place at Fiberspace in July, exact dates TBA. The oration will take place on Instagram! A chapter will be released every day at 22:22 Stockholm time, from 1 May until 7 May.
The region around Hallstahammar and the Strömsholms canal is steeped in the rich history of metal ore mining and metal production. I was invited to interpret the area through an artistic project. Knowledge Stones focuses on the embedded and shared knowledge that has been passed down through the ages.
The individual objects build a narrative, a personal interpretation of stories told and stories found within the materials themselves. Textile techniques transform everyday metal meshes and threads, uniting them with their source - ore, and the bi-product of their making - slag.
This project is the result of a artist residency programme funded by Kulturrådet, Region Västmanland, Hallstahammar kommun and Konstfrämjandet Västmanland. First exhibited at Skantzen in Hallstahammar during July 2020.
Photo: Karin Björkquist
A newly build West African style dragstone loom and a Swedish Glimåkra counterbalanced loom engage in a kind of dialogue, sharing the same warp, discussing the universality of plain weave.
This project was presented at Västerås Konstmuseum during January 2020 as part of the art museum's textile exhibition "Väva, Fläta, Fästa" which showcased textile pioneers from the mid-1900's like Kaisa Melanton, Sten Kauppi, Viveka Nygren, Edna Martin and others juxtaposed with contemporary artists.
Photo: Marcia Harvey Isaksson
Weavers in the West
Weavers in the West is a cultural heritage project, developed and presented within Slöjd Stockholm’s residency programme “Plats för det handgjorda” (Space for the hand-made) and within the scope of the on-going dialogue exhibition “Ongoing Africa” at the Museum of Ethnography in Stockholm. Slöjd Stockholms residency programme is made possible by funding from the Swedish Arts Council, the Commission for Handicrafts and Stockholm County Council.
Together with the museum’s visitors, a length of 4m of fabric was woven between 21/10-25/11, 2018 at the Museum of Ethnography, Stockholm. The effective weaving time was approximately 48 hours. This piece of fabric was subsequently donated to the museum’s African textile collection. The pictures below show some of the process.
Photo: JungJiea Hung and Marcia Harvey Isaksson
Britta and I
I inherited my husband’s grandmother’s loom mid-2013. Britta Isaksson received the loom as a 50th birthday present from her son and used it for approximately 30 years prior to her death. Her last project, which she never finished, was white linen hand towels with red and pink borders.
We managed to transport the loom about 150 km and lift it into it’s new home; warp, weave and all intact. My romantic dream of weaving hand towels for my godson using his great grandmother's 20 year old warp ended in failure. Though during the process of failing, I came to the insight that it was not failure as such, but a reminder that life seldom turns out the way we plan; that life is as fragile as a thin linen thread; and that even the most idyllic situations can unravel into a terrible mess. I decided to make an art piece out of this as a tribute to Britta, whom I never met in life but through the warp.
Photo: Marcia Harvey Isaksson
Origami & Fujisan
Part of my degree project from Beckmans College of Design. An exploration in space-making through play and co-operation with the help of a piece of rope and a flexible floor. Bodies interacting with space, with each other, in constant flux, creating an ever-changing spatial environment.