Design Links: Anna Nordström, Johanna Friedman & Kate Nartker

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Editor’s Note: This is part 35 in Emily Potts’ inspirational series, Design Links. Every other week she features three artists whose work offers fresh, fun, and stimulating creative inspiration. Each artist picks the next link—someone who personally inspires him/her. Check out the thirty-fourth part in the series, featuring Soft Baroque, Anton Alvarez & Jenny Nordberg

Jenny Nordberg is inspired by ….

Anna Nordström

Anna’s work comes across as sketchy but could maybe be described as the total opposite. The techniques she uses, such as embroidery and quilting, are both time-consuming and demands a skilled performer. The choice of low status coded materials really appeals to me. Her work seems to relate to topics such as consumption, status, labor, art and craft, topics which also occupy my mind.


I love the “Lazy Swamp Angel” sequin embroidery piece, both the look and the message. I’m not sure of what Nordström wants to communicate with this impressive embroidery but for me it embodies life.


Her quilts are all amazing, but if I had to pick one, this might be it. I believe it relates to my interest of the wider notion of materials.

Anna Nordstrom is inspired by …

Johanna Friedman

Her work inspires me because of her way of joining photography and textile techniques with stories on womanhood and her own life. She is so skilled when it comes to weaving and textile techniques, and so smart about her choices of imagery, text (in the work), and titles. I love the sense of humor that is in everything that she does.


This piece makes me laugh out loud every time I see it.


This is such a great example of how Friedman works with titles. Sometimes she collects imagery from television and sometimes from her private photos.

Johanna Friedman is inspired by …

Kate Nartker

There is something both eerie and strange, yet familiar to Kate’s work that I’ve always been drawn to. She creates textile images and animations from found home footage, with a focus on clumsy, blurry and accidental scenes. I like how she always creates a tension between the transient subject matter and the material it’s depicted on.


In this animation every still is made from an individual weaving. This video challenges so many levels of perception: First we see the “surface,” the woven structure with all its threads, then the moving vertical lines of a video recording starts being visible until we see the subject—a girl on a bicycle—and it’s almost like we have to “look through” the tactile surface of the weaving to see her. Then we’re thrown back again and continue to constantly be somewhere in between these different ways of seeing.


In this body of work, Nartker has experimented with how to physically materialize some of the effects in found video footage (in this case vacation footage) such as movement, how the camera pans across a room, and how the image goes in and out of focus. I love how fleeting these pieces look. It’s like they’re just momentarily held up by their frame, but could easily change any moment.

Tune in next time to see who inspires Kate Nartker!