Next Level Craft
A colorful procession of mysterious beings wanders through a northern landscape and carries with them magical objects. Who are they and where are they going? Is it a fairytale wedding, a carnival, a funeral procession, a fashion show or maybe a mix of all this?
Next Level Craft is an imaginative handicraft exhibition that moves in the borderland between crafts, design, fashion and art. * Voguing, felted wool, electronic folk music, root handicraft, LED weaving, hand braiding, hand-dyed wooden furniture and high fashion are intertwined in a different, norm-breaking handicraft story. With humor and heart, Next Level Craft takes the pulse of the present and highlights the magic and joy in the creative power of the hand.
The exhibition presents about a hundred works by forty designers, artists and craftsmen between the ages of 20 and 85 from all over Sweden. The works are produced for the exhibition with a focus on imagination, innovative forms and different uses. Generations and traditions meet, natural materials and technological innovations are cross-fertilized and forgotten craft techniques are given new life in a contemporary context. Here are a lot of exciting things to discover – carved weasels and carved water lilies, fantasy masks, high-heeled fist shoes, crocheted giant flowers and “aliens” of vrilar. At the Textile Museum, the content is adapted with more focus on textiles and fashion. Several completely new textile works will be created by Helena Hörstedt, Karin Frankenstein & Tomas Auran, Johanna Hofring and Carolina Rönnberg (Wilhja) and others.
Next Level Craft is an initiative of the handicraft consultants in northern Sweden and was created as part of Umeå’s Capital of Culture year 2014. It has since toured around Sweden and been shown at the Swedish Embassy in Washington and the Swedish Institute in Paris. The artistic director is the acclaimed artisan, photographer and curator Aia Jüdes. She has created an experience-based exhibition where the handicraft objects are mixed with their own soundtrack, music video and suggestive light for an exciting performance for all senses and ages.
* Voguing is a dance style and subculture that emerged in the New York gay scene in the 80’s. Voguing is characterized by, among other things, perfect, stylized hand and arm movements, acrobatic poses and flamboyant fashion.
With support from the Västra Götaland Region’s Culture Committee and in collaboration with Västarvet.
Image courtesy of Textil Museet, Borås, Sweden