Craft-Rituals-blue night ©Aia Jüdes.jpg

The project received funding because:

It is an intercultural project that is conceptual and involves a new kind of approach to craftsmanship. It bravely combines performance art and craft: It juxtaposes elements that unite craftsmanship. There is an entertaining aspect about the project in making something: It is visually interesting. The Fund hopes that the project can inspire and rouse interest in people who are not excited by the visual aspect of traditional craftsmanship. The project also unites a variety of age groups. Besides craftsmanship, it also tackles social elements. A brave step!

About the project:

The ‘Craft Rituals’ project involves more than 30 participants from Sweden, Finland, and Iceland. They are a mixture of woodworkers, dancers, musicians, fashion creators, street artists, and animators, whom the originator and project leader, Aia Jüdes will organise into different groups to create a music piece, a dance performance, and costumes. Everything will then be compiled in a film to be screened at venues in the three countries. All the elements of the project will be permeated by an interdisciplinary woodworking perspective.

‘Craft Rituals’ is a tribute to Nordic wool by depicting similarities and differences in our Nordic woodworking and craft traditions. In addition to spinning, it will spotlight other wool-related techniques (carding, milling, knitting, crocheting, dyeing and embroidering) and quite a lot of woodwork and horn work. The project will put female craftspersons (aged 60 years and over), who are experts at spinning wool by hand on spinning wheels, together with young breakdancers, a group of innovative electronic musicians, and a couple of avant-garde fashion creators to create a music piece, a series of dance performances (involving the music piece and the handmade costumes), and a short film with animated sections, in which all the elements of the project will be united.

  • It will contribute to brand new forms of boundary-breaking collaborations, in which woodwork and craftsmanship are seen as a natural part of the evolution of Nordic culture going forward.
  • It elevates woodwork and craftsmanship to a contemporary context in a norm-breaking way, making it accessible and relevant to brand new target groups.
  • It updates the image of the nature of woodwork, elevating its status or enhancing its impact way beyond its own field of operation.
  • It challenges gender stereotypes, promotes diversity and conveys the self-esteem of elderly women to a young audience in a way that rarely happens in our age-divided society.

Aia Jüdes has had previous success with the medium of film in the music video, 'Next Level Craft'. In this project, ’Craft Rituals’, Jüdes is further developing the results of the project and the medium of film, but using a completely different kind of experimental working process. Participants will meet over a longer period and have creative exchanges in various groups. This is a more comprehensive and complex kind of collaboration, since the film is a way of visualising the encounter between different generations/worlds and the outcome of the practical experiments.     The film for ’Craft Rituals’ will include hand-crafted animations consisting of various handicraft techniques inserted into the film and woven together with real images via a mix of analogue/handmade and digital animation technology. This is a totally new direction for handmade form, both technically and aesthetically.

In its own form, the film, Craft Rituals will serve as a visual piece of craftsmanship and as documentation of an innovative project. But the film is also designed as an interactive part of a live performance, in which various scenes, sounds and animations, in a surprising and poetic way, correspond to physical objects and people outside the screen.  

The Nordic collaboration:

Sweden, Finland, and Iceland

The project’s home base is Sweden, but important segments will also be realised locally in Finland and Iceland. The project will involve more or less 30 participants: from Sweden (approx. 15), Finland (approx. 10), and Iceland (approx. 10). Everything will then be compiled in a film to be screened at venues in the three countries.

Total budget: 2 130 400 DKK
Applied for: 789 000 DKK    
Approved grant: 700 000 DKK
Project period: 01.12.2016-31.03.2018

Special pool earmarked for HANDMADE in 2016

This project was supported by a Special pool earmarked for HANDMADE in 2016. Normally, the Fund caps applications at DKK 500,000 and 50% of total project budget, however, HANDMADE 2016 invited projects to apply for amounts ranging from DKK 500,000 to DKK 1 million and up to 85% of total project costs.

The assessment criteria were: HANDMADE aims to promote and stimulate handicrafts and handmade design by encouraging new Nordic and international partnerships and to help raise the visibility and profile of a wide range of handmade art forms and idioms. The spotlight is on projects that:

  • contribute to the development and visibility of handmade design and that focus on free, experimental and conceptual aspects
  • help challenge and break down traditional boundaries for handmade arts, crafts and design
  • include individuals or organisations from other disciplines and artistic genres.

The Fund’s general criteria about Nordic substance, quality, support and impact also applied.

Christina Zetterlund from Sweden and Mari Savio from Finland acted as expert advisors. The Board of the Nordic Culture Fund made the final decision on which projects to fund.

From 2017, HANDMADE will be part of the Fund’s general programmes of project funding and OPSTART. Read more about the programmes under “Apply for funding”.

Photo: Aia Jüdes