Long ago every Swedish child knew about näcken – the evil naked fiddler lurking in the water, using the beautiful play to attract men and women into the dangerous waves. The story is part of the Swedish folk tradition.
In southern Sweden this evil creature in the water was a horse – Bäckahästen – and the story about the wild, fast and lethal horse is often told in fantastic and exclusive flamskvävnader, Flemish weaving.
This red horse in the work of art Flora and fauna made by a Swedish weaver in 1921 is surrounded by an enormous garden, great in details and variety.
One of many interesting features is the mix of symboles – they stem both from the folktales and the biblical stories. The horse is framed by the tree of life and the entire garden is framed by four roses.
This is the rose symbolising the Virgin Mary. The five leaves tell us about the suffering of Jesus on the cross. The white leaves of Virgin Mary is coloured red by his blood.
Three birds are flying through the sky down to the earth, the bird is a symbol for the Holy ghost and the number three tell us about the three features of God – Father, son and the Holy ghost.
The book Skånska textilier från Hemslöjden i Malmöhus län belongs to my mother Ingar Trulsson. When she was 19 years old she stayed with her aunt Ebba at the Viresta gården in south of Sweden, Skåne. Ebba taught my mother to weave. Since then she has cherished this valuable heritage.
I recieved the tapestry as a Christmas gift.
Gustav Vasa, king of Sweden, collected weaver from the Neatherlands around 1540. He wanted his castles to look just as beautiful as the ones in Europe with their tapestries and frescoes. And he needed the warmth from the woven pictures too. The tradition of weaving tapestry became popular in Skåne among common people, allmogen, from about 1750. The woven fabrics were often used as cushions in the wagons when going to church for special occasions such as weddings and funerals.