The Soft Stories series is an Arctic Arts Institute- project initiated and developed by russian curator Ekaterina Sharova and norwegian textile artist Margrethe Kolstad Brekke.
The core aim of the project is to extend dialogue over the russian-norwegian border through the medium of textile arts.
Up through history textile materials and practices have travelled and in a significant way shaped the world as we know it. Europeans went to the far east on the silk road, cotton played an essential role in in the forming of modern globalized capitalism,the jaquardloom was among the Central building bricks in the industrial revolution, the indian Indigo-farmers followed Gandhi in the major protest against the East Indian Company- and on a lighter note: in the barentsregion transborder friendship and communication have travelled with textile trade and patterns since the 15hundreds. The hiistory of this history of interaction and cultural exchange challenge the established centralised perceptions.
Through a series of events taking place in the north of Norway and Northwest Russia Patchwork Polyphony will renew old Pomor relations through the potential of people meeting while creating and experiencing textile arts projects.
Textile art is a medium that could be developed with the highest artistic sensibilities. It is said that afroamerican quilting was an important forerunner for the abstract painting, developed in New York after WW2. In fact the entire tradition of oilpainting on canvas started as a cheaper and faster alternative to the medieval tapestries!
Still it has a language that goes beyond art, and is a brigde between fine arts and contemporary folk arts. In this way textile art has a potential in communicating with a wider audience that some other contemporary fine arts practices might lack.
Textile artist Margrethe Kolstad Brekke and curator Ekaterina Sharova is currently
developing the project.