Galleri Apoteket, Roma, Gotland


The project explores artistic, social, historical and ecological dimensions of silk. It begins with domestic sericulture - as the artists breed silkworms on a small scale, in their homes in Gotland, in Naxos and in Athens. In parallel to sericulture, the artists investigate local silk productions in the past and in the present.

On Gotland, plantations of tens of thousands of mulberry trees were established between 1830-1850, on initiative of the Society of Domestic Sericulture. Women of the aristocracy produced silk on their own farms, and a group of women on the edges of society were trained by Elisabeth (Blessell) Kahl, to work within the silkworm-breeding at an institution called Arbetshuset in Visby. The origin of the Gotlandic silk productions leads to the Middle Ages, when the first mulberry trees were brought to the island with monks from southern Europe.

The exhibition Morus, at Galleri Apoteket in Roma Kungsgård, presents a number of individual artworks, as reflections on the themes of metamorphose, moulting, silk mythology and ceremonies of change. Roma Kungsgård is a site where mulberry trees were grown in orangeries during the 18th century. The gallery space used to be a pharmacy, which links the artists to the women who used herbs and threads with medical purposes, and the accusations against them during the witch trials in Visby 1705.

The artists cooperate with the Agricultural University of Athens, as a scientific partner and educator. In September 2023, the Morus project will travel to northern Greece, to be exhibited at the Ethnological Museum of Thrace in Alexandroupoli, and the Silk Museum in Soufli, Thrace, part of the Museum Network of Piraeus Bank Group Cultural Foundation. With support of the Swedish Arts Grants Committee

From left: Ecdysis (2023) by Kleopatra Tsali, The Lace (2023) by Irini Gonou, Visionary poem from the Underworld (2023) by Hanna Norrna

Visionary poem from the Underworld (2023), Hanna Norrna

Ecdysis (2023), Kleopatra Tsali

Amulet (2022), Irini Gonou

Photo: Nikos Antonopoulos