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Excellence in Craft

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.

Textile Art

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.

Elastic Imprints and Fluid Forms

Malin Bülow uses her artistic practice to explore interconnectedness, and to understand our bodies as being fundamentally part of the natural world and not separate from or privileged to it.

HAiK: Camouflaged Art or Bold Fashion?

This interview by Geir Haraldseth with Ida Falck Øien investigates the fashion brand HAiK's conceptual approach to garment-making, using anthropological methods, interdisciplinary collaboration, and focus on crafting traditions.

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 challenges early theories on optical illusions.

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 woollen mills.

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).

A Studio Visit with Ellen Grieg

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

Grayson Perry: The Mad Potter

British artist Grayson Perry is a television star and transvestite whose best friend is a teddy bear. But he believes that making ceramic vases is far more provocative. In this interview by Kristin Valla we get an insight into his practice as a ceramic and textile artist.

Bergen: Rupture and Movement

In this article, Anne Britt Ylvisåker writes about the craft artists Marit Tingleff, Kari Dyrdal and Torbjørn Kvasbø and their strong connection and impact on the development of the craft education in Bergen, Norway.

Karen Kviltu Lidal: Exposing Power Structures

In this essay, Sofia M. Ciel 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Kiyoshi Yamamoto: Material as Metaphor

An interview with artist Kiyoshi Yamamoto by André Gali

Mata Aho: Māori Weaving Practices at Atua-Scale

A conversation between Zoe Black and Aotearoa New Zealand art collective Mata Aho

Weaving the Wild: the Work of Brit Fuglevaag

An interview one of Norway's foremost textile artists through several decades, Brit Fuglevaag, by Zoe Black

Pearla Pigao: Playing Patterns

An interview with textile artist and musician Pearla Pigao by Tora Endestad Bjørkheim and Johnny Herbert

Love as a Rebellious Act

Sarah Hudson (Ngāti Awa, Ngāi Tūhoe and Ngāti Pūkeko) has been an admirer of textile artist Ron Te Kawa’s practice and champions his unique approach to sharing Indigenous narratives and stories from te ao Māori (the Māori world) through toi tuitui (art making using sewing and fabric). In this article, Sarah Hudson explores Ron’s practice through the celebration of play and aroha (love), resilience and punk energy, and loud and rebellious joy.

Reconstructing Gábde Based on Racial Biology Archives

In 2022, it was one hundred years ago that the Swedish State Institute for Racial Biology was established in Uppsala, Sweden. Many ethnic groups and other socially vulnerable subgroups were measured, tested, and photographed in the name of racial biology. The Sami were one of them. In this article, the duodjár and textile artist Katarina Spik Skum describes how she came to use the photographic archive of the Institute for Racial Biology as a source of inspiration for the creation of gábde from the Lule Sami area.

Co-Culturing: Crafting the Living

A conversation between designers Linda Nurk and Natsai Audrey Chieza.

Noa Eshkol’s Rules, Theory and Passion: About the Status of Textiles in Her Artistic Practice

An interview with Mooky Dagan conducted by Marianne Hultman about the wall carpets of the dancer, choreographer, artist teacher and researcher Noa Eshkol.

Pitch, Prosess, Produkt

Artists Siri Hjorth’s and Sebastian Makonnen Kjølaas’ Pitch, Prosess, Produkt is an artwork consisting of three short films investigating contemporary textile art in a larger cultural context.

On Fibre Optic Weaving and the Archiving of Landscape

Film and interview with Hilde Hauan Johnsen by Ingun Mæhlum and Hilde Sørstrøm

Can Textile Craft Help Restore Planetary Health?

An essay about how regenerative textile practices can aid in our current planetary emergency written by Carole Collet.