Digital Jacquard knitted Tapestry Wall by fiber artist Signe Emdal. Exhibited at the National Gallery of Denmark (SMK) in 2015.


SMK wrote:

”I want Astrid’s Rose to bloom. I want her to hold her head up high, look ahead and unfold in all her gentleness and strength, shining. Long enough, she has been standing in the dark shadows of her male modernist colleagues. This brave and powerful cosmopolitan paintress.” 

Taking the painting Rose sets the Table 1914 by danish Astrid Holm (1876-1937) as her point of inspiration, Signe Emdal has created a tapestry that translates the roses and vibrant colours from Holm’s painting: red, yellow, green and rosy. Focusing on giving the painting new light.

The flower explosion in the tapestry is a way of expressing the theme of emancipation presented in this painting, which is also core to Astrid Holm’s own biography. As a female painter and tapestry weaver, Astrid Holm fought for female artists’ rights and for the recognition in Denmark of tapestry weaving as an art form. She was the first female teacher in the fine art academy of Denmark setting up a class for tapestry weaving 1920-25. She was a student of Henri Matisse in Paris from 1910-14 as the only danish woman and she learned tapestry weaving at the La Manufacture des Gobelins, also in Paris.  Rose sets the table was painted at a danish colony in Africa while Astrid was visiting. She had to leave Paris when the war started and she wasn´t able to return to Denmark until around 1920. So inbetween she travelled to Africa.

Astrid never really succeded in getting the recognition she deserved in Denmark. She had her own era against her as a woman living in a world of men. The tapestry Astrids Rose is Signe´s tribute to courages Astrid Holm, her life and her great passion in creating fine art and tapestry weavings.

”Its my destiny to shine light on the fortunate life we can choose today as a female textile artist in Denmark. Thank you Astrid, for leading the way.”

- Signe Emdal


Photo credit: SMK + Jakob Emdal

Signe Emdal