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Isabel Berglund: Stitching Together A Participatory Fiber Installation With Lion Brand Yarn

Isabel Berglund

Assorted Lion Brand yarn worked into patches for Berglund's Fall 2017 installation piece.

Danish born fiber artist Isabel Berglund is not restrained by definitions of what can or has been done. She takes the art of knitting and pushes it to its limits and beyond. Her work fluidly moves across lines, exploring form to tell a story. She creates installations that provoke thought and inspire meaning. Berglund is particularly known for her large-scale pieces and engaging participatory works.

isabel berglund

In February of 2017, Berglund began the process of breathing life into her latest participatory installation piece here in the United States. Working in three locations (Phoenix AZ, Philadelphia PA, and Bloomington IN), the artist held workshops that were open to the public. The goal was to gather 600+ knitters and crocheters between the ages of 8 and 95 from across the country. Participants working side-by-side were encouraged to share stories, stitch patterns, and techniques thus forming natural bonds through this collective experience.

isabel berglund

Stitched With Lion Brand

Lion Brand provided wool, cotton, and acrylic yarn in an array of reds and green for the creation of the piece. The colors were chosen by Berglund to symbolize the choices that make up the human experience. Participants were given yarn and asked to bring their favorite hooks or needles to create a patch that represented the space of their home. (Their residence in a ration of 1:20, as a blueprint.)

The purpose of this piece is to explore togetherness, relationships, and home within social spaces. Berglund writes, "[the] intent is to break down socioeconomic and political divisions/barriers, and in turn, build relationships between people of different backgrounds – using the practice of knitting [and crochet] as a guide. The completed installation represents a cross section of the United States through knitted and crocheted patterns of floor plans unique to each area."

isabel berglund

Berglund will be joining the patches together using yarn meant to symbolize the blood running through our veins showing a tangible representation of how we are all joined together across social and cultural boundaries. This piece is a celebration of diversity in communities.

On Display

The piece, titled Home Mask Relations - A Social Art Project, is a collaboration between Berglund and independent curator Elizabeth Kozlowski. It will be exhibited at Schmidt Center Galleries, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, beginning in the of Fall 2017. In the Spring of 2019, it will become part of the group exhibit Material Domestication at San Francisco Museum of Craft and Design.

Home Mask Relations photography provided courtesy of the artist, Isabel Berglund.

Learn more about Isabel Berglund’s art here on her website and follow along with the progress of Home Mask Relations on Facebook.

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