Vanessa Aegirsdottir, textile artist and jewelry designer
Vanessa Ægirsdóttir is a textile artist and jewelry designer who lives and works in Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada on the traditional territory of the Kwanlin Dün First Nation and the Ta’an Kwacha’n Council. In her textile work, handspun wool yarn is often the featured material whereas with the jewelry designs, the focus is on wild Yukon fur. Vanessa was born and raised on Vancouver Island, BC and relocated to the Yukon in 2007. Since childhood, she’s cultivated a love affair with textiles; their history, how and where they’re produced, the people responsible for their production. She tells stories of going on family camping trips as a little girl and (over)packing art supplies just in case inspiration struck; a practice she maintains to this day. It is a rare day if she’s not creating something and there’s always art materials in her bag. Always. She is a self-taught hand spinner and teaches others to spin on both drop spindles and wheels. She also weaves on rigid heddle and frame looms as well as on a Ravenstail loom making First Nations regalia. She has had careers in fashion design and portrait photography; both of which have armed her with valuable skills in her current art practice and retail business. Vanessa has attended multiple residencies in Blönduós, Iceland April-August 2016 which led to several group exhibitions with her fellow residents. She was also an exhibiting artist at Design March in 2017. She’s a contributing artist in the UDHR Quilt project in Australia, as well as in the Weavers Across the Waters Ceremonial Robe project and in the Giving Strength Robe Ceremonial Robe project (in progress). Her work was voted People’s Choice for jewelry design at the Great Northern Arts Festival in Inuvik, NWT (2018). She earned the Design Innovation Award from the Craft Council of BC in the annual Earring Show (2020). Her work, whether the textile wall art or the fur jewelry, celebrates the natural beauty of the materials by using simple, uncomplicated design. She prefers the natural colours of the wool, fur, feathers, etc. in most of her works. Influences of her Nordic ancestry are easy to spot in many of the pieces.