Ida Hagen

Sep 18, 2018Julia Kahrs

Ida Hagen's handmade tapestries enter into a dialogue with both her grandmother and her hometown Gausdal, and express in a whimsical way the duality of everyone's identity; the changeable and the unchangeable.

What kind of work do you create?
I make textile tapestries by hand and use various techniques, mostly weaving.

What is your earliest memory related to art, or to creating something?
I have many good memories from the hobby room at my friend's house. Among other things, I remember that we did pearl embroidery and sewed various things.

What did you want to be as a child?

Did you grow up in a creative environment?
Both my mother and grandmothers did needlework, so I guess I got a little in there. But I've also been lucky to grow up with very creative friends. Music has also always been very important to me, and I draw inspiration from various genres of music.

When in life did you first learn about your field of work? What brought you there?
I "discovered" weaving a bit by accident on Instagram in 2014. It was love at first sight and I was inspired to try it myself on an old frame loom I had inherited from my grandmother. For the first two years I spent every free moment in front of and with the loom. Being away from it was just like being away from your girlfriend when you are super in love - it was very frustrating and I left longing for the next time we would see each other again! Now things have calmed down a bit, and "our relationship" is more stable. But the web and I definitely have a strong connection to each other, so we're going to stick together until death do us part.

What is the best advice you have received?
Just get on with your thing.

What does success mean to you?
Having time to create. And if other people like what I do, that's obviously great. I weave and create primarily for myself - but it would be a lie to say that other people's interest in it doesn't matter.

What is your relationship with your material?
I love yarn and textiles for many reasons. Firstly, they are lovely to look at and touch, whether they are soft, rough, thin, thick, delicate or robust. And I like that most of them are relatively flexible and can be shaped and combined in different ways.

Tell us a little about your workplace!
I don't have my own studio, so I sit by the window at home in my living room and work. It works well, but can sometimes get a bit messy, so in the long term I hope to be able to have my own workspace.

Which object is your favorite among all that you have made?
It changes a little all the time, but it is probably some of my first works that have the greatest emotional value, because they remind me of where it all started.

What is the most challenging thing about being your own boss?
Now I don't make a full living from this, but it must be that I should always have had more time to create. And intense periods with lots of flow and inspiration are incredibly delicious and rewarding, but it can also get a little lonely. Then I often miss someone to take short breaks with.

Do you have any tricks or techniques that never fail if you need inspiration or to break out of routines?
Get away from work and take a walk! Or force yourself to start something, then suddenly it loosens up - it often works for me.

What is your relationship with Norway Designs?
I think it's fantastic to have a shop that promotes great Norwegian design, handicrafts and small-scale products.

What expectations do you have for Norway Designs NÅ Vol. 5?
I hope that many people will take the trip and that it will be well received.

Tell us a little about the items you are exhibiting in this year's exhibition.
For these small handwoven tapestries, I have chosen to use three different types of yarn in addition to the linen warp. I have spun the white yarn by hand from wool from my hometown Gausdal. It represents the origin, base or starting point of my identity, my backbone. The orange yarn belonged to my grandmother, who was also a weaver. She is part of my history and my identity, and our shared interest in weaving is brought together through these works. In the interaction between my grandmother's choice of yarn – the dull orange – and the contrasting glossy blue-green, which is my personal choice, I thus establish a dialogue between the two of us across time. Both have/had a strong urge to create. As for the motifs, I wanted to bring out the duality of my identity and everyone's. The white triangle has a fixed shape and position in all the works, and it represents the parts that are static and unchanging – like where I come from and who my family is. The second, orange shape differs from work to work and refers to the parts that are dynamic, changeable and constantly changing.

Which identity do material and technique help to express?
For me, the works express the urge to create and the duality of everyone's identity – the changeable and the unchangeable.

Is there one or more identities that are reflected through your work?
I think that my works in general, and not just this series, can express many different identities. It depends on the eye that sees.

Read more about the process behind the tapestries here.

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