Spinning the Landscape Yarns

Sanna Vatanen

Sanna Vatanen is a Finnish textile artist whose longstanding connection to Iceland is the base for her work during the Gilfélagid Artist Residency. She’ll be spinning Icelandic wool to create a unique, hand-spun yarn collection, ’Landscape Yarns’. The yarn collection draws inspiration from the elements of the icelandic nature repeating the colours of ash, moss, snow, ice, lava, fog, sand, sea, sky, meadows…Inspired by the fact that the Icelandic wool is characterized by having a longer, coarser outer coat and finer undercoat, which gives exceptional firmness to the unspun strands, the wool used for the project is Plötulopi, the unspun yarn by the Icelandic manufacturer Álafoss. As the wool is already carded and gathered into plates, it’s great fun to spin and mix the colors from the multiple woollen color plates. Plötulopi is also the original material chosen for the legendary Lopi sweaters as the advantages of the Icelandic wool in wet and cold weather are more apparent when the wool used is unspun.The yarn collection will be later used as a material to create a hand-knitted sweater collection, ’Landscape Lopis’ (work-name). The idea behind the ’Landscape Lopis’ is to present personal memories and experiences translated in the form of spinning and knitting - to allow them show publicly in the wearable clothing in everyday life instead of keeping memories tucked away at home. To use sweaters in terms of postcards to tell a story.’The environmental textile art projects I participated in Iceland while studying, made a lasting impression on me. Since then I’ve found myself returning to Iceland and to its powerful nature again and again, always experiencing something new.’ Sanna Vatanen was educated at the University of Art & Design (now AALTO University) in Helsinki, Finland. During her career, in addition to creating several exhibitions, she has published 7 knitting books featuring also other textile techniques and highlighted the use of the local wool and other sustainable and recycled materials. She resides on the island of Kökar, Åland Archipelago, where she creates new projects around the wool of the Åland sheep.

Artist: Sanna Vatanen


24.02.2024 – 25.02.2024



Kaupvangsstræti 23 , 600 Akureyri, Iceland



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