The French inventor Joseph Marie Jacquard was a clever sausage. His mechanical loom, unveiled at the turn of the 19th Century, used strings of punched cards in ways that are too advanced for us to comprehend to allow the simple production of complex textile patterns, and is held to be an influence on the earliest computers. Jacquard would be pleased, if possibly somewhat puzzled, to see the unorthodox use of his technique employed by contemporary artists including surrealist weaver Kustaa Saksi.
The Finnish artist, now living and working in Amsterdam, uses a combination of natural materials such as mohair and alpaca wools and cotton, and synthetics like phosphate and metallic acrylic threads which go in one end and come out of the other as splendid, colourful and abstracted scenes of nature with moments of head-scratching intricacy. Saksi’s collection Hypnopompic – referring to a state of sensory confusion upon waking – explores the uncertain area between dreams and reality through textile design and paper serigraphs. The Korjaamo Galleria in Helsinki is showing Hypnopompic until 15 September.