when I first started to more seriously explore the tapestry technique, the book “Svensk Textilkonst” (“Swedish Textile Art”) by Edna Martin & Beate Sydhoff, was of great importance. I got it as a gift in 1980 and I studied the photos, ate them! One of the tapestries I admired, and still do, was “Detta trassliga klot oroar mig” (“This tangled-up globe worries me”), by Lillian Bartholdsson. It is poetic, dramatic, narrative.
Later, when I began my textile art studies at HDK, University of Gothenburg, which is located in the same building as The Röhsska Museum, I saw the tangled-up globe for the first time live. It was on display in the museum. It is not very big, just over one square meter. But it filled my entire universe when I looked at it.
Two months ago I gave a lecture in Varberg. I came too early and was waiting at the entrance when two ladies approached me. They were both textile artists, older than me, also former students from HDK. So, we had a lot to talk about. I happened to mention I was looking for an upright tapestry loom, for guest artists in my studio. One of the ladies said: “Well, I have one and it’s for sale.” This was a coincidence, I thought, and gave her my mail address since she promised to send me a drawing with dimensions.
When the letter came, I realized it was from Lillian Bartholdsson!
Now I have visited her adorable house, an intentional time capsule enclosing a still very active artist, in a beautiful setting outside Varberg. Lillian is a star, and so wise and generous. Her tapestry loom now has a new home in my studio.
Thank you, Lillian!