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Living
Heritage 
Toolkit

Venø Gård KUNST, Norway 

Rovaniemi Heritage Museum, Finland

Living Heritage Toolkit is a project that is inter-regional and collaborative in nature stressing a common thread binding cultural practices and legacies present in the rural north. Each participating partner brings individual skills, expertise and resources that complement the overall vision and development, while addressing key aspects of our individual and common goals as practitioners operating in the rural dimension.

 

A reinterpretation of traditional working garments, knitted patterns and symbols existing in the museum's collection. The project aims to reflect the value of rural culture, with its roots in applied crafts, and ethical maker-ship.

The collaboration developed a heartfelt working process between fashion designer Julia Kröner Venø, local wool producer Inger Falkevik from Nordfjordull, and local knitters, producing a boiler suit prototype. 

The first results were presented in an exhibition held at Rovaniemi Heritage Museum with a text by Haparanda/Tornio based historian Silvia Colombo,  in parallel to Cultural Paths' Merging - Converging Village Symposium.

WEAVING OUR STORIES

Silvia Colombo

How the textile heritage have shaped our past, is part of our present and can be influencial in our future.

A fabric is purely a fabric, at first glance. But is it, really?

Apparently, it just looks like a piece of interwoven threads that comes in different models and sizes, it is dyed in various colours and is made of a wide range of materials. But we all know that nothing is as it appears. Thus a fabric cannot be merely considered as it seems. It would rather be comparable to a map.

At the beginning, we notice its colours and its whole appearance.Then, on reflection, we are able to see through it, discovering details we haven’t even considered in the first place. And the more we observe, the more we realise its complexity. All the contrasts, nuances and imperfections suddenly stand out. And it is exactly at this point that each and every one of them starts to tell a story. Or, better, multiple stories.

Nowadays, when we talk about textile production, we think about styles, sizes, materials and colours, while in the past textiles and clothes mostly had a more functional role within society. If they were produced and worn with practical purposes – mainly to keep one warm – they also present traditional features.

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