The Kiss, 2008
woven ramie, horsehair, banana fiber and gold
27 x 65 ½ inches
palm leaves and horsehair
55 x 38 inches
(Denmark, b. 1954)
To be of a place and at the same time apart from it is perhaps to see its beauty, and its ironies, with more clarity. Trine Ellitsgaard grew up in Denmark, and it was there she trained as a weaver, but for the last twenty years she has lived in Oaxaca, Mexico. Stepping outside the serenity of her studio, you are instantly confronted by the wild cataclysm that constitutes daily life in Latin America—the clashing aromas of flowers and exhaust, the sounds of birdsong and jackhammers, the saturated colors of sky, colonial buildings, and graffiti—all woven into a rich, anarchic texture that threatens at every moment to overload the senses. You cannot help but be swept into the chaos, or fight against it, or both.
It is more than an interesting side note that Trine still weaves on the loom she imported from Copenhagen when she first arrived in Mexico. Looking at her textiles, what is most striking is not the overtly visible influence of Oaxacan craft but its apparent absence. The ordered geometric designs, the muted colors, the soothing balance of forms and textures all seem to express a Scandinavian sensibility in direct contrast to a life spent in Mexico or to traditional Mexican weaving.
-excerpt from Michael Sledge essay
"A Latin American Master Who Happens to be Danish"