Turku story rug

I am really excited to discover that as part of the Turku City of Culture Celebrations there will be a ‘happening’ to do with traditional Finnish rag rugs. Here in the UK, the tradition of making rag rugs was supposed to have been brought by Viking invaders in the 9th and 10th century. As I wrote to Angie Wyman:

“I know of the connection of rag rugs with Scandinavia very well. It has been argued by Ann Macbeth (Glasgow School of Needlework – but also lived in the Lake District) that Viking settlers in the 9th and 10th centuries brought looped Rya rug weaving techniques to the north of England via the Shetland Islands, Scotland then Cumbria. The shaggy, looped pile was eventually translated into the British rag rugs we know today once industrial production and availability of Hessian and wool cloth reached a critical mass in the early to mid 19th century – Britain’s domestic weavers were forced out of business at the same time.

I think that in 19th century Scandinavia domestic weaving continued, since their industrial revolution was later than ours but eventually with access to industrially produced cotton hence their woven rag rugs. Wouldn’t it be great to join the circle back up again and show them where the tradition ended up?”

This is the link to the Story Mat project webpage – hope it work! I would love to run some workshops or talk about the history of rag rugs in the UK


TURKU 2011

University of Turku …with a department for the Science of Well-being

2011: celebrate the end of the first decade in turku (‘one view town‘), epicentre of happening euroculture

If anyone already knows what I just stumbled on, how come it didn’t get out at Workshop One?

Sorry, then to be the one to break the news that Turku 2011 is a big forthcoming European cultural event.

To get an idea of the scale of this thing, you can see the amount of effort and investment that went into preparing the winning bid, by checking the beautiful, Flash-created bidding document, ‘Turku on Fire: Turku for the European Capital of Culture 2011′ (178 pages).

I really find it hard to imagine all the connections that have quickly taken this to the stage where ‘Netwurkers’ are presumably also preparing for what must be up among the top ten exposure opportunities in our tiny lifetimes. Not to mention that the same thing’s supposed to be going on in the University of Cumbria another story.

This is how quickly these waves travel. Next stop Turku – exhibitions, performances, be-ins, music in wooded parks on very long summer evenings. Who’s in? Communication is the key.

Ideas and their Implementers are Still Welcome

You may announce your interest in participating in the implementation of any of the projects in the Capital of Culture programme by contacting partners(a)turku2011.fi. You may also submit your ideas to the Idea Market, which will continue to be open on the Capital of Culture Web-site at http://www.turku2011.fi

The Turku 2011 Programme is an important element of the European Capital Culture − however, as a whole, the project is much larger.

– Everyone’s contribution is needed to build an unforgettable year of the European Capital Culture


The founder of Linux operating system, Linus Torvalds is to be the official patron.

Turku, the European Capital of Culture, Initiates the World’s Largest Media Art Competition

Live2011.com Grand Prix invites artists and content producers working in the digital format to enter the competition in eight different categories, with a combined total value of prizes worth more than 140,000 euro.


Accordion Wrestling, ‘with performances which combine accordion playing with wrestling, will culminate in a large-scale production called Battle 2011 at the Paavo Nurmi Stadium in Turku’.

See what I’m saying?