A project about clothes and consumption by Johanna Törnqvist. In collaboration with Fredrik Sederholm, photo and Tomas Björkdal, film. Text: Frida Arnqvist Engström. Supported by The National Swedish Handicraft council.


The exhibition Project Precious Trash has been shown at Nationalmuseum (Sweden´s Museum of Art and Design) Stockholm, Form/Design Center Malmö, Handarbetets Vänner/HV Galleri (Friends of Handicraft) Stockholm, Nääs Konsthantverk (Nääs Arts and Craft) Göteborg, Höganäs Konsthall (Höganäs Art Gallery), Galleri Björken Sunne and Hemslöjdens hus (House of handicraft) Jönköping.

“With one foot rooted in craft and folk art and the other firmly in the criticism of consumption, Johanna Törnqvist assembles traditional and contemporary expressions, but also raises questions about how we value today´s materials. In the borderland between art, craft and fashion, she flirts with the traditions and finds in her work the specks of gold in trash and superfluous materials. With her craft skills she transforms trash into something refined and beautiful which does not leave the viewer unaffected.

There is a duality of expression in Johanna Törnqvist´s garment and necklaces. On the surface, they are beautiful, colorful and folkloristic, but underneath there is also something interrogative, maybe because of the somewhat surprising and compassionate treatment of the waste materials. Her ideas always start with discovering and experimenting with the material; foam foil, bottle safety net, coffee packaging, crisp bags and oilcloth.

In her latest project, Project Precious Trash, she takes a step that enables her to take part in the contemporary debate about what we consume and how we look upon our assets. Even though crafts have traditionally been based on an original material: wool, clay and wood, there is something else today that our contemporaries have an ineshaustible supply of – trash.

In Project Precious Trash Johanna Törnqvist raises questions about consumption and sustainability and, in a incisive way, creates in a provocative contrast between the transience of the trash and the precision and resistance of the craft.”

Text: Frida Arnqvist Engström