Marcia Harvey Isaksson

About


Marcia Harvey Isaksson is an artist who uses textile techniques and methods as a vehicle to investigate cultural and personal heritage, the transfer of knowledge over generations, and how narratives of the past affect the present and the future. She often works with a mix of media, from video, to sculpture, to performance. Her work is included in the Swedish Museum of Ethnography’s African textiles collection.


In 2015, Harvey Isaksson established Fiberspace, an arena for textile art, craft and design. She curates the physical and digital programme of the space. In 2020 she published a catalogue documenting the first five years of the space and the artists who had exhibited. For information, please visit fiberspace.se.


Harvey Isaksson is also an interior architect and exhibition designer, and member of Sveriges Arkitekter (Architects Sweden). She graduated from Beckmans College of Design in 2008. For information about her exhibition design practice, please visit sqcircle.se


Art Projects

Matriarchs: Myths & Legends


This project explores the personal histories of the matriarchs in my family, woven together with the mythological narratives of godesses from many different belief systems. The result so far can be divided into three distinct parts: an oration, a performance and a woven piece. The oration covers the epic lifetimes of seven women from six generations. The performance focuses on the oldest and the youngest of these women, and how their destinies are intertwined. The woven piece - a shroud, is both the conclusion of the tale and the beginning of another.


This project was made possible by a grant from the Swedish Art Grants Committee.



Knowledge Stones


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

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Dialogue



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

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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

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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.

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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.


Space


Void

Interval

Playroom


Pause


Emptiness

Fluidity

Movement


Time


Photo: Beckmans College of Design