Elsa Montell – Lapin Raanu Weaving Studio
Galleries Valo and Katve, Arktikum House, Rovaniemi, FI
13.10.2022 - 4.12.2022
The visual appearance of the exhibition is based on Elsa Montell’s raanu Bear’s Hibernation and original typography, hand-carved by Matti Saanio. Graphic material is designed by Venla Valmu 2022.
Open from Tuesdays to Sundays between 10 – 18.
Pohjoisranta 4, Rovaniemi, FINLAND.
Elsa Montell – Lapin Raanu Weaving Studio -exhibition showcases the work of Lappish textile artist Elsa Montell (1925-2019) and the weaving studio she established in the 1950’s in Oikarainen village, near to Rovaniemi, Finland.
In Finnish the word raanu denotes a woolen textile, decorated typically by colorful stripes that follow a symmetrical pattern. Traditionally it has been used as a blanket outdoors and indoors. Elsa Montell (also known as Elsa Montell-Saanio) was an admirer of northern traditional textiles and weaving skill. With her original designs she renewed the traditional raanu weaving and created award winning artworks and interior textiles suitable for the modern home. She is especially known for her skillful use of colour. She dyed yarn samples and developed a signature color gradient weaving technique to reach her visions of landscapes and abstractions. Based on the artist’s sketches and detailed instructions the skilled weavers in her mill produced beautiful raanu textiles over three decades. Her visionary work resulted in raanu weaving gaining extreme popularity during the 1960’s and 1970‘s in Finland.
The exhibition showcases both well-loved bestseller items and lesser known raanu textiles from earliest designs of the 1950’s to the last years of production in the 1980’s. Photographs, sketches and items belonging to the weaving studio highlight the journey a raanu makes from textile artist’s sketch to a finished product. During the exhibition, also pop up workshops are organized, which provide a hands-on experience of different processes in textile art.
Elsa Montell – Lapin Raanu Art Weavers exhibition is designed and built by a team consisting of staff and students of the Faculty of Art and Design from the University of Lapland and supported by City of Rovaniemi. We thank for collaboration the estate of Elsa Montell, raanu collector Maarit Jauhola, Regional Museum of Lapland, Rovaniemi Art Museum and Taito Lapland Crafts Association.
We wish you warmly welcome to explore the exhibition! Vernissage is held on Wednesday 12.10.2022 at 6 pm.
University teacher; Fashion, Textile Art and Material Studies
University of Lapland, Faculty of Art and Design.
Tel. +358 40 484 4376
Detail of Elsa Montell’s sketch for raanu Blue Moment. Photo: Kristiina Wiherheimo 2022.