Frida Åström

Control – a textile investigation about losing it, and reclaiming it 

Control is an investigation into the sense of loss and gaining control, but also the very conscious relinquishing of control and being in a state of collaboration with material, symbolism and technique. 

This project has its roots in my interest in Flemish still life paintings, the set tables of the master still life painter Clara Peeters have been the central focus of this investigation. Both as a visual reference but also it’s means of taking control of Peeters own situation in the 16th century Netherlands. 

My goal has been to create a still life of my own by using different textile sculpting techniques I’ve developed during my study at the Master Program at HDK.

By using current 3D technology in combination with traditional hand stitching I shift back and forth between the old and the new in my process of making.

Control is a landscape of texture, shape and relationships between objects. It is an island, a tower, a setting of pieces in a space where you are welcome to interact from all angles, it is in front of you but also above you. 

Using elements from historical still life paintings like food, animals and home ware I

create landscapes of white textile sculptures that speak about the time that I live in.

They speak about materiality, my hands experience and the dialogue that experience

allows for in the making of a piece.

In some instances I can let the material inform my decisions, it could be my pushing

the material to its limit and it breaking, or an unexpected drape that I embrace.

In other instances it’s more of a fight with a material, I need to conquer the textiles

softness to create a firm, freestanding object.

My process is based around an understanding of control, when I need to have it and

when I can let go of it, which applies to both art and life.