Since Monday, I've been working diligently on an application for the W. B. Brucebo Art Foundation Travel Scholarship. The Brucebo Foundation offers two scholarships (or fellowships) a year: one is a residency on the Swedish island of Gotland, and the other is a European fine art travel scholarship. The travel scholarship can encompass fine art research anywhere in Europe, but I've chosen to focus on Sweden.
Since being exposed to scandinavian textiles at NSCAD University, I have had a desire to travel to Sweden and study and learn about their textile traditions. The integration of art, design and craft is well known as being a real strength of Sweden's culture. Textile artists, and tapestry artists in particular, are very celebrated. Needless to say, I need to visit this country!
My research proposal centers around the intersection where Swedish textile traditions and contemporary culture come together. Focusing on hand-weaving and folk art traditions, I'll explore the influence of cultural textiles on Sweden's art and design practices through my travels.
I hope to visit a folk school (a very strong tradition in Scandinavia), university textile departments, galleries and museums, as well as commercial production businesses and textile mills. I'm really interested in the powerful role material culture plays in shaping our sense of history and community, and how material traditions are re-interpreted to determine their continuity into the future.
Fingers and toes crossed!!