Miriam’s own Scandinavian ancestry started her on a quest to ‘find’ the nine mothers, Jötunn or ‘giants’, who ‘gave birth’ to the god Heimdallr. Although they are named in extant Norse literature, their stories remained untold. In Miriam’s poem, these giants are the protagonists, as they impart their creation myth to Heimdallr in a cave on the edge of the Norse world.
In developing the project, which began as a commission for the podcast series ‘Bedtime Stories for the End of the World’, Miriam asked her mother, Christina Edlund-Plater, to create new fabric works, which experiment with the traditional craft of felting, to illustrate some of the key moments and characters in the poem. These pieces stem from older practices of making but have a very contemporary feel. This mother-daughter collaboration beautifully evokes the ideas of legacy and inheritance expressed in Miriam’s retelling of this ancient myth.
The Nine Mothers of Heimdallr includes an introduction by medieval and Viking specialist Jóhanna Katrín Friðriksdóttir and a conversation between author and illustrator about their generational alliance in making the book.