Doris Wiklund

Jean i hjortronskogen, (Jean in the Cloudberry Woods),1980, Doris Wiklund

The Luleå Biennial is presenting the work of Doris Wiklund with exhibitions at Havremagasinet and Luleå konsthall. Doris has worked as a weaving teacher for many years, and introduced many people in Norrbotten to the craft and joy of weaving. She has also collected historical weavings from Norrbotten, and compiled an archive of knowledge that had not previously been formulated. This work was published in 1993 in her book Gamla vävnader från Norrbotten (Old Weaves from Norrbotten). Through this book, she didn’t just write a history of textile; she formulated a rich chronicle of life in Norrbotten.

Gamla vävnader från Norrbotten, (Old Weaves from Norrbotten), 1993
When Doris Wiklund was given a small sample of a weaving from Jukkasjärvi, she realised how little of the history of traditional weaving from Norrbotten had been compiled and documented. This would become the starting point for her work on the book Gamla vävnader från Norrbotten, for which her students helped her collect weaves from different parts of the county. Often, there would only be fragments left of the historical textiles, but Wiklund was able to use her vast knowledge to recreate their forms and the techniques used to make them. Collecting them was a huge undertaking, which included preserving the stories about the people who wove them. This makes the project as a whole a story of the conditions of life in Norrbotten. In her book, weaving drafts are provided for each selected piece, and their recreations have thus formulated an “open source” documentation, with the express purpose of ensuring that future generations will have the opportunity to further develop and build upon the rich, textile heritage of Norrbotten. During the Luleå Biennial, Luleå konsthall will be showing materials from an exhibition Doris Wiklund produced when the book was first released.

 

Jean i hjortronskogen, (Jean in the Cloudberry Woods), 1980, Brita Maria Larsson vid sin stuga i Käyrävuopio, (Brita Maria Larsson at her Cabin in Käyrävuopio), 1998, Farfar på fiske i Lappland, (Grandfather Fishing in Lappland), 1997.
In a series of three weaves made with a double weave technique, Doris Wiklund depicts moments from everyday life in Norrbotten. Two of these weaves, Jean i hjortronskogen and Farfar på fiske i Lappland, show moments from her own life, from times she spent in nature with members of her family. These are atmospheric pictures, which convey a strong sense of presence.

 

Wiklund made the third weave, in which we see Brita Maria by her cabin in Käyrävuopio, after a photographic original. Brita Maria lived in the cabin with her husband and their seven children, one of whom died at a very young age. This weave is a celebration of one of the many women of Norrbotten who had to resort to subsistence farming to feed their large families.

 

Jukkasjärvi kyrka, (Jukkasjärvi Church), 1963
In this Flemish tapestry weave, Doris Wiklund has portrayed not only Jukkasjärvi Church, but also the buildings that surround it. We can see the rectory, in brown, a barn, and the homestead museum, which is in the building where her father Wilhelm was born in 1902.

 

Doris Wiklund, who was born in Kiruna in 1930, is a weaver and educator. She trained at Friends of Handicraft, and spent many years working as a weaving teacher in Kiruna. She has published four books about her own weaves and historical weaving. Outside of Norrbotten, her work has reached an international audience, partly as a result of one of her books being translated to English.