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A Baroque Fairytale of an Exhibition

Ceramic artist and curator Heidi Bjørgan's exhibition The Story of an Affair at Nordenfjeldske Kunstindustrimuseum in Trondheim is a complete installation, mixing museum artefacts, music, and scenography with new ceramic works by Bjørgan herself. In this article by art historian Jorunn Veiteberg we're invited to take a closer look at the exhibition as a cabinet of curiosities.

Elisabeth von Krogh: Playing with Form

In this interview André Gali talks with ceramic artist Elisabeth von Krogh about caricatured expressions, optical illusions and the vessel as form.

Sidsel Hanum: A Journey into the Tiniest Details

Size becomes a fascinating issue when studying the ceramics of Sidsel Hanum. This Norwegian ceramicist makes objects with intricate patterns of minute size, to vessels so big, you can take a bath in them! But even if huge sizes impress, it is her small objects that attract international attention.

Erika Stöckel: Power of the Oppressed Body

In this conversation between curator and artistic director Maria Ragnestam and artist Erika Stöckel we learn more about how Stöckel builds her large-scale ceramic installations, starting from a theme and using historical photography, cultural preconditions, and shame as her inspiration.

Lillian Tørlen: Meeting the Public Where They Are

In this interview by Tora Endestad Bjørkheim and Johnny Herbert, Norwegian artist Lillian Tørlen reveals her thoughts on materials, vases and the importance of the exhibition site.

Ingrid Askeland and Hilde Jørgensen: The Morning After The Night Before

In this essay, art critic Tommy Olsson reflects on Ingrid Askeland and Hilde Jørgensen's exhibition Manic Monday, a dystopian installation of ceramic sculptures, photography and collage, that was on display at Kunstnerforbundet in Oslo in the autumn of 2019.

Beyond G(l)aze

In this conversation we meet the curator team behind the Sino-Norwegian ceramics exhibition Beyond G(l)aze, consisting of two Norwegian and two Chinese curators: Heidi Bjørgan, Bjørn Inge Follevaag, Feng Boyi and Wang Dong. Here they discuss their experience working with the exhibition, after the initial showing of the exhibition in China.

Torbjørn Kvasbø: Ceramic Expressionism

Torbjørn Kvasbø defines himself as an abstract expressionist and is known for burning his monumental sculptures in the large, woodburning kiln in his backyard. In this interview by André Gali, we learn about Torbjørn Kvasbø’s road to ceramics and how exhibiting, networking, and teaching, across three continents, has contributed to his standing as one of the world’s leading ceramic artists.

Weaving the Wild: the Work of Brit Fuglevaag

Brit Fuglevaag is one of Norway's foremost textile artists through several decades. Fuglevaag's practice is founded on traditional loom weaving, but incorporates a multitude of unconventional techniques and materials, including found objects, plastic and paper waste, feathers and mooring ropes. In this interview with community development curator Zoe Black from Objectspace, Aotearoa New Zealand, we are invited into Fuglevaag's home. The interview also features a short film, made by Norwegian Crafts.

Tone Vigeland: Hands on

Tone Vigeland’s art springs from a direct encounter between her hands and her materials. For more than fifty years, she has created jewellery and sculptures that combine simple craft techniques with stringent aesthetics – works apparently liberated from any possible intellectual approach. Perhaps this is why people the world over describe her art as both timeless and placeless, and sometimes even magical.

Liv Blåvarp: Touch Wood

Artist Liv Blåvarp creates spectacular and sculptural necklaces and bracelets out of wood. Her creations are built by individually shaping smaller pieces of wood and joining them together in a spiraling construction, for maximum wearability. In this interview by Reinhold Ziegler we learn more about how Blåvarp came to work with wood, and how she developed the technical competence to create wearable pieces of art.

Perisak Juuso

In this conversation, Irene Snarby talks to duojar Perisak Juuso about landscapes and Sámi place names, and about the in-depth knowledge you need in order to find the right burls, roots, and antlers to make beautiful duodji.

Hannah Ryggen's Popularity

The Swedish-Norwegian textile artist Hannah Ryggen (1894-1970) wove tapestries using locally sourced wool and plant dyes from her and her artist husband Hans Ryggen’s farm on Fosen, by the Trondheim fjord; yet her activist tapestries offer a rich political commentary on global events such as Mussolini’s invasion of Ethiopia, the Vietnam war, and Nazism’s emergence in Europe. In this article by Line Ulekleiv, we are invited to investigate the relevance of Ryggen’s practice in contemporary society, and the reasons behind her rising popularity in recent years.

Marit Tingleff: Serving up Stories with Chances

Marit Tingleff makes large earthenware dishes that won’t fit on a dining table. In this interview by Christer Dynna she relates this format to the porcelain and fine china that was once part of a broad culture and tradition carried mainly by women, and which has since been relegated to flea markets or – at best – the kitchen cupboard.

Magdalena Abakanowicz and the Norwegian Art Scene: Style Creator or Liberating Role Model?

The internationally acclaimed Polish artist Magdalena Abakanowicz (1930–2017) contributed to a new epoch in textile art in the 1960s. Her exhibitions in Norway triggered increased interest in textile-based art in the country, and her authoritative attitude as a female artist was pioneering. In this article by Runa Boger we learn more about her influence on the next generation of textile artists.

Pearla Pigao: Playing Patterns

Pearla Pigao weaves large-scale tapestries that double as musical instruments. By using metal threads as warp and weft in the loom, the tapestries can played by audiences moving between and around the textiles, altering the electromagnetic field between their body and the textile surface.

Mata Aho: Māori Weaving Practices at Atua-Scale

Mata Aho is a collective of four Māori artists based in Aotearoa New Zealand. Together they create large-scale sculptural installations rooted in Māori practices and visual forms. Coming together in collaboration enables them to tackle ambitious projects bigger than their individual capacities.

Kiyoshi Yamamoto: Material as Metaphor

Growing up in Rio, Yamamoto attended a Catholic school that emphasised crafts. Since he was heavily dyslexic, crafts provided a means for him to express himself. At the age of 16 he moved to London and then later to Norway, where he completed an MFA in textile art and has been living ever since. In this interview published by Norwegian Crafts in 2016 we meet Kiyoshi Yamamoto as he is preparing for Structure, the Norwegian exhibition at the 2017 Milan design week.

Ahmed Umar: Starting from Stories

In this interview, matt lambert converses with multidisciplinary artist Ahmed Umar on materiality, craft-based art, and how storytelling emerges as a form of activism in Umar's artistic practice.

Jens Erland: Man/Machine

Under the term ‘composite ceramics’, artist Jens Erland combines mechanical elements, performance, and industrial materials into ceramic sculptures and objects. In this interview by Mariann Enge we’re introduced to his work, and how coincidence and growing up close to agricultural industry shaped his path to ceramic art.

Stian Korntved Ruud: An Inventor of Curious Things

Stian Korntved Ruud’s practice, both alone and as part of Kneip studio with Jørgen Platou Willumsen, emerges from his formal education in product design at Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences, and his period of study at Oslo School of Architecture and Design. Yet it is through his curiosity and involvement in artistic research that his practice has become as exploratory as it is today.

HAiK: Camouflaged Art or Bold Fashion?

HAiK is a design collective created by the fashion designers Ida Falck Øien, Harald Lunde Helgesen, and Siv Støldal. Their clothing collections relate to the world of fashion, but they have also gained a foothold in the artworld on account of their conceptual approach, anthropological methods, interdisciplinary collaboration, and focus on crafting traditions. Geir Haraldseth has talked with Ida Falck Øien about HAiK’s development and what lies ahead.

Inger Johanne Rasmussen: Beauty and Myth

Rasmussen’s artistic practice combines different expressions related to other craft traditions and painting. Her works are characterised by bold colours and geometric patterns juxtaposed with floral imagery. In this article by Marit Øydegard we get a closer look at the exhibition 'Retellings and Myths', a collaboration with Terje Nordby – a playwright, radio celebrity and ‘mythologist in private practice.’ The textiles themselves tell stories, but through Nordby’s reflections, they take on an added dimension.

John K. Raustein: The Future is Solely Motivated by Nostalgia

In this essay, artist and critic Tommy Olsson reflects on John K. Raustein's exhibition When Everything Falls into Place that was exhibited at Kunstnerforbundet in Oslo, in 2019 – an immersive, site-specific textile installation.

Karen Kviltu Lidal: Exposing Power Structures

In this essay, Zofia Cielatkowska examines the work of Karen Kviltu Lidal, which explores society, architecture, and public life from the starting point of the physical body. Kviltu Lidal moves freely between art forms such as weaving, installation, and video documentation, but textiles prevail as her basic point of reference in both the metaphorical and literal sense.

Aslaug Juliussen: A Sense of Sustainability

In this conversation with artist Aslaug Juliussen, Hilde Sørstrøm delves into Juliussen's sustainable approach to material transformation. While her installations and sculptures are made using materials and technique from her Sámi heritage, Juliussen always seek to evolve and transform the materials into something new.

A Studio Visit with Ellen Grieg

In this interview, André Gali talks to textile artist Ellen Grieg about her dyeing processes, working sculpturally with rope and her artistic practice as a long-term research project.

Between the Dishrag and the Tiger

This essay by Toril Moi investigates the power of textiles, as a potentially feminist endeavour. The essay was published in the exhibition catalogue for Ode til en Vaskeklut, Hymne til en Tiger, a survey of textile art from Norway in connection with the 40th anniversary of Norwegian Textile Artists (2017).

Franz Petter Schmidt: The Consummate Object

In this interview with artist Franz Schmidt by Gjertrud Steinsvåg we are introduced to the exhibition Weaving Fabrics for Suits at Oslo Art Society and Schmidt’s experience working with decommissioned industrial woolen mills. Schmidt’s artistic practice involves weaving fabrics, tailoring garments, and collecting historical objects – an exercise which closely examines how material things become imbued with emotional significance.

Toril Johannessen: Unlearning Optical Illusions

Jessica Hemmings reflects on the textile works of artist Toril Johannessen and her exhibition Unlearning Optical Illusions. At first sight, Johannessen’s works evoke connotations to the patterns found on West-African textiles but at a closer look, these patterns explore and challenge early theories on optical illusions.

Tone Vigeland: Hands on

Tone Vigeland’s art springs from a direct encounter between her hands and her materials. For more than fifty years, she has created jewellery and sculptures that combine simple craft techniques with stringent aesthetics – works apparently liberated from any possible intellectual approach. Perhaps this is why people the world over describe her art as both timeless and placeless, and sometimes even magical.

Liv Blåvarp: Touch Wood

Artist Liv Blåvarp creates spectacular and sculptural necklaces and bracelets out of wood. Her creations are built by individually shaping smaller pieces of wood and joining them together in a spiraling construction, for maximum wearability. In this interview by Reinhold Ziegler we learn more about how Blåvarp came to work with wood, and how she developed the technical competence to create wearable pieces of art.

Nanna Melland: The Uniqueness of the Masses

Nanna Melland is known for making jewellery with unorthodox materials. In this interview by Monica Holmen we are introduced to her practice which spans from personal jewellery to public installations.

Felieke van der Leest: Toy Animals, Yarn, and Glamorous Design

Plastic toy animals, crocheting in yarn, and precious metals, are some of the elements Felieke van der Leest combines to make exciting, humorous, and absurd jewellery. Central to van der List's artistic practice is a fascination with the animal kingdom. Using toys and ready-mades she transformers animal figurines into near-human subjects, complete with clothes and sunglasses.

Sigurd Bronger: Jewellery as Absurd Theater

For many years Sigurd Bronger was an outsider in contemporary art jewellery, but now he enjoys increasing attention. In this interview by Reinhold Ziegler we learn about Bronger's way to jewellery, and how expressing absurdity has become his hallmark.

Inger Blix Kvammen: Memories in Metal

Inger Blix Kvammen's artistic practice relies on a vast number of connections with individuals and communities from around the world. Memories from her travels to Northwest Russia, to Nenets Autonomous Okrug, Southern Caucasus, Turkey and Armenia lay the foundation for the objects she constructs back home in her studio in Hessing, a few kilometres outside of Kirkenes in Finnmark, Norway. In this interview by Hilde Sørstrøm we gain a closer insight into her process.

Recognizing Ground: Where Indigenous and Queer Practices Meet

In this text we get to follow matt lambert and Máret Ánne Sara's conversation, as they explore their shared experiences, their impetuses for creating art, and the role migration, nomadism and land play in their practices.

On Fibre Optic Weaving and the Archiving of Landscape

In this film and interview by Ingun Mæhlum and Hilde Sørstrøm, artist Hilde Hauan Johnsen shares the background to her interest in plant dyeing and ancient weaving techniques, and for plant life around the world. Through her method of foraging plants and creating dyes, Hilde Hauan Johnsen’s artworks become archives of specific landscapes.

Returning the Long Silent Voices of Our Treasures to the World of Light

In this text, Tāmihana Kātene (Ngāti Toa Rangatira, Ngāti Tama, Ngāti Koata, Te Taoū - Ngāti Whātua) talks about his dedication to taonga puoro, and how he, through pūrākau, research, and deep dives into archival collections, is bringing these historical objects back into the cultural practices of his people.

Winona's Hemp

Follow publisher, editor and writer Dorothée Perret and artist Oscar Tuazon on their journey to Winona LaDuke’s Hemp & Heritage Farm on the White Earth Nation, Gaa-waabaabiganikaag in northern Minnesota, where LaDuke is working to restore traditional agriculture and create a new local economy of fiber production.

Moving Away as Moving Towards

Adam Curtis explores the pastoral lifestyles of designers Anne Karine Thorbjørnsen, Ramona Salo, Tone Elisabeth Bjerkaas, Siv Støldal, and Harald Lunde Helgesen and their decision to move away, while at the same time moving towards new ways of being and practicing.

Can Textile Craft Help Restore Planetary Health?

Can crafting textiles become an act of care? Professor Carole Collet takes a closer look at how regenerative textile practices can aid in our current planetary emergency. The essay explores new ways of shifting the agency of textile craft from nature-using to nature-restoring, and embraces a new mindset where the practice of craft is orchestrated to replenish the natural world.

Co-Culturing: Crafting the Living

The two designers Linda Nurk and Faber Futures’ founder Natsai Audrey Chieza discuss their experiences of collaborating with living organisms in a design and making process; the role of designers within the bio-tech industry; notions of scale and mass-production as well as the role craft can play in proposing a different version of scale-up.

Wānangatia Te Wahakura

In this extensive text by kairaranga (weaver) Tanya White we are introduced to the wahakura, a woven bassinet for infants made from harakeke, a native plant of Aotearoa New Zealand. The wahakura are vessels of wellbeing, providing safe sleeping spaces for small children. The article presents a case study of raranga wahakura (the practice of making a woven bassinet). It is an articulation of raranga (weaving) epistemology from a weaver’s perspective.

Texture of Practice: Dorothy Waetford

Whakapapa is a Māori framework that places us within the world. It encompasses all relationships we experience and guides our knowledge and connection to whānau (family), hītori (history), tikanga (customs) and philosophies. In this presentation by artist Dorothy Waetford we are introduced to the whakapapa of her practice and how it is informed by her background as a dancer, and her local surroundings and whānau (family).

Texture of Practice: Raukura Turei

Whakapapa is a Māori framework that places us within the world. It encompasses all relationships we experience and guides our knowledge and connection to whānau (family), hītori (history), tikanga (customs) and philosophies. In this presentation by Raukura Turei we are introduced to the whakapapa of her practice, and how the materials she uses in her work connects her both to her tīpuna (ancestors) and the whenua (land).

The Landscapes Within: Monika Svonni

Monika Svonni is a multi-disciplinary artist living in Jåhkåmåhkke. Her oeuvre consists mainly of textile collages incorporating pewter thread embroidery and reindeer hide, but she also works with wood carvings and sculpture in a variety of materials. In this interview by editor and artist Carola Grahn, we are given an introduction to Monika Svonni’s work, which has been produced over many years, as well as to her outlook on life and art.

Texture of Practice: Areta Wilkinson

Whakapapa is a Māori framework that places us within the world. It encompasses all relationships we experience and guides our knowledge and connection to whānau (family), hītori (history), tikanga (customs) and philosophies. In this presentation by artist and jeweller Areta Wilkinson we are introduced to her practice and how reconnecting with her ancestral kāinga (home) has meant connections to deeper material knowledge and understanding.

Keeping the Flame of Ancestral Tradition Burning

The Sami gietkka, a cradle for newborn children, has an ingenious design. In this text duojárat and couple Fredrik Prost and Inga-Wiktoria Påve talk about two old cradles that were left in their care, and how they made them fit for new generations with the help of each other, their ancestors, and sketches from the 1930s.

Wānangatia Te Wahakura

In this extensive text by kairaranga (weaver) Tanya White we are introduced to the wahakura, a woven bassinet for infants made from harakeke, a native plant of Aotearoa New Zealand. The wahakura are vessels of wellbeing, providing safe sleeping spaces for small children. The article presents a case study of raranga wahakura (the practice of making a woven bassinet). It is an articulation of raranga (weaving) epistemology from a weaver’s perspective.

Baarkaldahke – A Living Cultural Legacy

While braiding baarkaldahke into a friend's hair Lova Isabelle talks about her love for making baarkaldahke, a South Sami hair jewellery made with yarn, thread, tassels and glass beads.

Texture of Practice: Raukura Turei

Whakapapa is a Māori framework that places us within the world. It encompasses all relationships we experience and guides our knowledge and connection to whānau (family), hītori (history), tikanga (customs) and philosophies. In this presentation by Raukura Turei we are introduced to the whakapapa of her practice, and how the materials she uses in her work connects her both to her tīpuna (ancestors) and the whenua (land).

In Search of Käsityö

Åsne Kummeneje Mellem is a young artist whose art practice focuses on Kven crafts, known as käsityö, and identity. In this interview with writer and artist Maija Liisa Björklund she discusses what Kven craft is, has been and could become, within the context of contemporary art.

On Fibre Optic Weaving and the Archiving of Landscape

In this film and interview by Ingun Mæhlum and Hilde Sørstrøm, artist Hilde Hauan Johnsen shares the background to her interest in plant dyeing and ancient weaving techniques, and for plant life around the world. Through her method of foraging plants and creating dyes, Hilde Hauan Johnsen’s artworks become archives of specific landscapes.