Textures of Life by Joana Vasconcelos

ARoS Kunstmuseum, Aarhus, 2017

A large part of installation artist Joana Vasconcelos’ work revolves around the feminine – both as a social and a political phenomenon. She works with everyday objects and traditional Portuguese craft traditions including tiles, ceramics, fabric, embroidery and crochet. With sumptuous explosions of colour and authentic materials, she focuses on everyday routines subjecting them to fresh scrutiny.

For her solo exhibition Textures of Life at AroS, Vasconcelos explored the domestic realm further to create the piece Valkyrie Rán, a spectacular site specific installation using more that 2100 meters of Kvadrat textile across 549 designs and colour variations. The 50 meter long piece will meander the entire main hall and atrium of the museum from entrance to back and across all eight levels in height.

Valkyrie Rán makes reference to the sea deity in Norse Mythology whose name is synonymous with waves, making an association to the idea of travelling and to connecting people across borders by bringing together three dimensions: the Norse culture, the exquisite Kvadrat fabrics and Portuguese traditional handmade techniques. The fabrics and colours were chosen according to the Scandinavian colour scheme, to echo the changing light and seasons in Denmark, and embroidered applications and sequins were added to the sturdy Kvadrat fabrics just as white is added in painting: to underline the relief of the artwork’s depth. This was all quite exciting as it was the first time I was actually able to use fabrics that belong to the domestic universe, further exploring this theme that is so present throughout my work”. Joana Vasconcelos

ARoS has acquired Valkyrie Rán, which will be part of the museum’s permanent collection.