Det spirar, det gäller livet (It’s budding – a matter of life) is the title of a work by Gunilla Skyttla – an embroidered heart. It has also become the name of our retrospective exhibition of Raine Navin and Gunilla Skyttla. Gunilla, who was famous for her freely embroidered hearts, and Raine, who challenged and played with textiles, from ties to crocheted kitchen sinks, before anyone else did.
Often it was humour that was given the main space in the artworks, but it was with the utmost seriousness that they captured the ordinary and turned it into something unexpected. Many people in Kalmar know Gunilla and Raine as the artists who one would often run into on the street. Both had a background in an artistic education focussing on textiles. They lived together in Kalmar from the 1960s onwards, but exhibited, held workshops and inspired people all over the country.
In 2016 they both left this life, but they live on through their many artworks and the memories of friends. Some of their pieces were donated to Kalmar konstmuseum, and these are now shown together with other works that had previously been acquired for the collection. Some of the artworks shown have been lent by Gunilla and Raine’s friends Barbro Eldhagen, Eva Hagman, Rolf Lind, Anders Lönn and Gunilla Pantzar.
The film Kung Raine och Drottning Gunilla (King Raine and Queen Gunilla) by Helene Alm is also shown in the exhibition.