In the intricate tapestry of artistic creation, collaboration and personal narrative often intertwine to weave compelling stories. In our latest interview, we had the privilege of sitting down with Sofia Sandqvist Marjanen, a Master in Arts student whose work delves into the realms of collective creation and familial history. Through her poignant reflections and intricate craftsmanship, Sofia offers profound insights into the intersection of textile art, photography, and emotional resonance. Join us as we unravel the threads of her creative process and explore the depths of her evocative artwork “Minnen av en omfamning”.

The following transcript has been edited and condensed from video.


COMA: Let's delve into the meaning behind your work “Minnen av en omfamning”. You mentioned the collaborative aspect of its creation involving friends and family. How does this collective effort contribute to the project's significance for you?

Sofia: Indeed, the piece was a collaborative endeavour, drawing on the support of loved ones. The collective effort resonated deeply with me as it tapped into a shared emotional landscape. While not strictly about knitting, the process involved gathering archival photos from my family, intertwining our histories and experiences into the fabric of the work.

COMA: Reflecting on this sense of togetherness, how do you perceive its connection to the overarching theme of the project?

Sofia: It feels integral to the project's essence. Through collaboration with fellow artists and the involvement of my family, the piece embodies the theme of closeness and the complexities of seeking support. It's about navigating familial bonds and exploring the act of reaching out for assistance, particularly in the context of past traumas.

COMA: Could you provide some background on the narrative behind the piece?

Sofia: The work is rooted in a family narrative, exploring themes of affection and its absence across generations. It reflects on my own experiences growing up and the longing for physical closeness, which inspired the creation of a quilted blanket infused with archival photographs spanning decades.

COMA: Sofia, you've described knitting as an act of care. How does this tactile process intersect with the emotional depth of the project?

Sofia: Knitting holds a profound significance in my family, symbolising care and connection. Incorporating this craft into the project imbued it with a sense of tenderness and intimacy, echoing the themes of familial bonds and the yearning for warmth and affection.

COMA: Tell us about the intricate process of imprinting photographs onto fabric. How did you navigate this creative journey?

Sofia: The process was both challenging and rewarding. Selecting and organising the images was the initial hurdle, followed by the delicate task of transferring them onto fabric squares. Each step required precision and patience, with occasional mishaps adding layers of depth to the final piece.

COMA: The sheer size of the artwork creates a profound presence, evoking a sense of childhood wonder. What guided your decision to scale up the project?

Sofia: Initially envisioned as smaller blankets, the project organically grew in scale, mirroring the complexity of familial dynamics and personal growth. The larger dimensions allowed for a deeper immersion into the narrative, enveloping viewers in a shared emotional journey.

COMA: As you continue to explore the intersection of textile and photography, how do you envision expanding the boundaries of the photographic medium?

Sofia: My practice seeks to expand photography beyond traditional mediums, transforming images into tangible elements that evoke new responses. By integrating textiles and unconventional materials, I aim to challenge perceptions and invite viewers to reconsider the essence of photographic expression.

March, 2024 - COMA Editorial team