During a hike in Kangerlussuaq, Greenland I noticed a bed of White Cottongrass (Hrafnafífa) amongst the stones up along the riverbed. After looking through the photographs from the trip, the cottongrass stuck in my mind. 
The flower ended in 5th place to be titled The National Flower of Iceland in 20042. Since cottongrass grows all over the Northern hemisphere, it’s not solely a symbol of Icelandic nature. When we identify a specific object as particularly “Icelandic”, like bestowing it with the title of The National Flower, our attention focuses completely on it’s place within our borders. Reality outside the nation disappears. 
Suddenly a small flower, similar to the mundane artefacts in our lives, holds the meaning of something much larger than itself. Perhaps society has placed the flower within it’s cultural heritage. 
The National Museum of Iceland plays a role of preserving and exhibiting material cultural heritage. In the museum’s exhibit today, there are five bed covers made completely using the method of “the old cross stitch” or “gamli krossaumurinn”. An example of this is the “Riddarateppið“ or The Knight’s bed cover. This particular piece of embroidery has become an icon of the stitch, the old cross-stitch, even though the author is unknown. At the exhibit, the work is shown behind glass, hanging on the wall. This installation indicates that the object belongs to the past, separating us from it. 
We tell ourselves today that monumental objects must be conserved and protected from their natural process of degeneration, in order to bridge the gap between then and today. However, these localized artefacts, each with their own particularities and stories, aren’t randomly chosen to be exhibited. The spotlight falls where we believe is important today, looking back on the past. The tradition of the old cross-stitch embroidery and The National Flower are both tangible and intangible parts of our cultural heritage which we have placed in the foundation of society. But why, other than in order to nourish our own identity? I had to rip back the first stitches, review and punch again. Punch the needle where the material remains of human existence lie, underneath the surface, close to the cottongrass’ roots. Finally the wool gains control and the white cottongrass becomes a fixed picture, hanging on the museum’s walls.