Gold is a universal symbol of wealth, the sublime or the divine. gold provokes a feeling of desire in many of us. When I first saw the golden bonnets at a local museum, I was immediately fascinated by the material and the delicate embroidery, without knowing anything about the history behind them. The bonnets are from the mid 1800s, and were popular among the wives of Denmark's wealthy farmers. They were a status symbol. Gold textiles had previously been reserved for royalty, the nobility and the church. Highly specialized needlewomen made the bonnets, and these experts are early examples of self-employed women who were often able to provide for their families. Linking this kind of women's history to a specific garment is something I've explored in the past, just as I've explored our ability to read the signs of the past previously.
In Guldnakke, none of the faces can be seen. The focus is entirely on the napes and golden bonnets. I work consciously with large formats to enhance the visual effect that occurs when the embroidery is magnified and the image creates the space for a wealth of detail, which in real life only covers a small area.
Trine Søndergaard (b. 1972) is a Danish photographer. She has exhibited in numerous solo and group shows in Denmark and abroad. Søndergaard lives and works in Copenhagen.