Haley Peterson

The Alloy of Bunad

As a costume designer I create characters for the stage. For my master project I chose the stage of a public holiday, the 17th of May. The character is a girl from a multicultural background, searching for national belonging. I am the actor and the director in this play, but in the process of creating, I see myself as an alchemist. Making and dyeing, embroidering, weaving, printing the garment, is a series of cathartic alchemical experiments I perform in an attempt to dissect the alloy of bunad.

1. Here I draw out my thoughts on how to combine my personal history and the form of bunad to create the Norwegian-American-­Turkish person I will perform on the 17th of May, 2016. 

2. Embroidery thread, the orange dyed with onion skins, and black with pomegranate peel – these plants remind me of my childhood in Turkey. I will use them to embroider a Turkish embroidery pattern on the collar of my bunad shirt.

3. The band of the apron that I wove on a roughly rigged backstrap loom on my desk. The yarns are naturally dyed with Norwegian plants by Marthe Minde.

4. A tuft of wool from Persbråten Gård in Skui. The raw form of the ?material I’m using; a reminder of the irony of the “ren ull” idealism.

5. Printed with an onion skin eco print, which reminds me of the redrock desert mountains in my homeland, Arizona.

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