Josefin Tingvall works with experimental natural dye, documentation and slow crafting processes as an investigative and narrative tool. Her background comes from several fields, she has periodically been active in film making, yarnbombing and have an Bachelor of arts in craft and design and a a master of fine Arts from Konstfack in textile Craft. Themes that she investigates are environmental issues, changes, fragility and humans role in that context. Tingvalls practice is conceptual and process based. She work with textile techniques and materials that can be considered very traditional, mainly contemporary/experimental natural dye, knitting, crochet and embroidery. Their simplicity and time consuming soul, as well as the contrast they becomes to the city life around her is a central part in her practice. The development of new techniques, making a mix or a twist of existing ones to becomes a method and approach to investigate something. A twist, coloring with street dirt and discarded cigarette butts instead of birch leaves, replacing a plant with a dropped glove. The core of Tingvalls practice is a poetic and material questioning, the methods she uses is to start an experiment, mind-wise and hand-wise, a process, a meeting that she then follows, collect and document.
We are all naked under clothing, but for different reasons so we sweep ourselves in cloth. Textile is close to us and just as personal as to us as the person who wore it. I see textiles as a portal between us, our skin out to the outside environment, but just as much a portal for that environment into us. Cloth constitute the thin membrane of the gate between your skin and mine, between me and the tall grass, which really would have been against my bare legs. This soft area that textile is, is making it to be an meeting point that includes both growing things and the world that we build around us, in an element that we already have a habit of having a relationship with. What drives me in my practice is to create a gap where we can for a while stand still and read another angle on our daily lives. A main theme in my projects is time and memory.
The project Soft Society, which I am working with right now, is about textile’s ability to absorb and showcase their surroundings through the collected marks and stains of usage. My project has turned that memory and storytelling aspect around and worked with cloth as a recording material in urban areas, by twisting and using techniques based on natural dye. Through ongoing walking, collecting and dyeing, the city becomes addressed through urban textiles, textiles out of place, and given an alternative story line to our shared spaces— a story line of a material culture that may be easy to just walk past. It forms a thready and temporary record of our fragile moment right here and now. I have a big fascination for old textile fragments and anthropology studies have been inspiring my work for the last year. I think that by looking at old crafted objects, we learn about the place and time it was created, but by crafting today we learn about our society and situation here and now.