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Leaning on our past: The sofa cushion as a site telling a story of rural craft in today’s society
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Cultural Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0858-0287
2010 (English)Conference paper, (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

For me as an art historian studying visual culture, the applied art represented by the embroidered surface of the sofa cushion, have proved to be an important site telling me about our recent past. In this paper I want to explore what stories are brought up to date in the modern day design revival or appropriation of the do-it-yourself (DIY) aesthetics of Swedish folk art.

 

Alongside the embroidered wall hanging, the embroidered sofa cushion has been one of the most frequent DIY-object in popular press. It represents the exotic, idealised country life of the urbanised Swedish people. In a recent study on early 20-century wool embroideries I noticed a turn towards the visual comfort of the past during the 1930s and 1940s. This might have been caused by the threat of war and it resulted in the increased use of national if not nationalistic symbols. In several cultural media this aesthetics is brought the surface again today. I will discuss some prominent examples, asking questions such as: What does the return, the revisiting to and reusing of these almost century old reconstructions of a rural past implicate today? When the old visual features are echoed in contemporary design, does that necessary mean that the same ideological and historical notions are evoked? Might the nationalistic overtones even be amplified in a multi cultural society? Who listens to the call from the corner of your sofa?

 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010.
National Category
Art History Cultural Studies
Research subject
Humanities, Art science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-11564OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-11564DiVA: diva2:414791
Conference
Applied Cultural Heritage: How telling the past at historic sites benefits society. 17-19 November 2010 Kalmar, Sweden
Available from: 2011-05-04 Created: 2011-05-04 Last updated: 2017-04-19Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf