I-the Duck

Mesmerized by the magical qualities of eiderdown Eva is making an eiderdown suit inspired by the “sleeping pyjamas” from the Russian North pole-1 polar expedition in 1937-8.

The down is carefully plucked from the breast by the female eider to line her nest inside the houses built by the bird carers. After 27 days the eggs hatch and the chicks are immediately ready for leaving their nests with their mothers and caring aunties. The eider down is then left as a gift for the bird carers Eivind or Jann, who collects it and gifts it on to Gerd, who meticulously cleans the down from bits of dried seaweed, moss and straw and then makes it into duvets. It takes 60 nests to make one eiderdown duvet!

Gerd gifted me some second-rate eider down that I am now in the process of hand cleaning. It is becoming embedded into a sculptural one-piece suit sewn from cotton that I will dye with stone lichen collected from the shores. This makes the fabric beautiful and mottled shades of brown, similar to the colour of the female eider duck herself. The one-piece eider suit will be an artwork in its own right but incorporated into place specific and meditative experience during exhibitions.

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