CONTEXTILE 2022

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Contextile 2022

(English below)

Contextile Contemporary Textile Art Biennial er en av de største og mest innflytelsesrike internasjonale bielnnaler for tekstil- og fiberkunst. Contextile har til sin 6. utgave og i sitt 10. år valgt ut Norge som sitt inviterte land. I samarbeid med Norske Tekstilkunstere arrangerer Contextile en utstilling med norsk tekstilkunst som en del av 2022-utgaven av biennalen i Guimarães, Portugal fra 3. september til 30. oktober.

Den norske tilstedeværelsen på biennalen vil være spredt over tre viktige kultursteder i den historiske byen Guimarães; Museu de Alberto de Alberto Sampaio, Palacete Santiago og Museu da Sociedade Martins Sarmento, og viser prosjekter av 12 norske samtidstekstilkunstnere, inkludert en rekke perspektiver som til sammen representerer noen av bekymringene som er viktige i norsk samtidstekstilkunst. Utstillingene er kuratert av den norske tekstilkunstneren Målfridur Adalsteinsdottir og kurator for Contextile 2022, Cláudia Melo, i samarbeid med medkuratorer Janis Jefferies og Kiyoshi Yamamoto.

NTK er en demokratisk medlemsorganisasjon for profesjonelle tekstilkunstnere, og kuratorene har vært spesielt opptatt av å vise et bredt spekter av norsk samtidstekstilkunst, vise sin store aktivitet og sterke posisjon i kunstscenen. De utvalgte kunstnerne kommer fra mange ulike deler av landet, og med sine ulike generasjonsstemmer er både nyutdannede og erfarne eldre kunstnere representert, med kunstverk innen ulike disipliner.

Målfridur Adalsteinsdottir sier: «Tematisk spenner verkene over et større felt som omhandler kropp, natur, økologi og miljø. Noen av verkene utforsker identitet og tilhørighet, mens andre verk kretser rundt vårt sted i tid, og vårt nære, men komplekse forhold til naturen. Flere av kunstnerne formidler poetiske og drømmende verk og legger til rette for meditative og sanselige opplevelser. Noen jobber med forseggjort matematisk mønsterkonstruksjon, noen med det skulpturelle potensialet i tekstiler, mens andre kartlegger og dokumenterer. Det rettes søkelys på den forurensende tekstilindustrien og de vanskelige arbeidsforholdene til syerske og tekstilarbeider, på overforbruk og vår tids politiske landskap.«

Norsk Tekstilkunstneres utstilling på Contextile 2022 er et samarbeid mellom Norske Tekstilkunstnere og Contextile – Contemporary Textile Art Biennal og er støttet av Norwegian Crafts gjennom delfinansiering og rådgivende rolle.

Utvalgte kunstnere: Ingunn Bakke, Tor Magne Gundersen, Liilian Saksi, Åsne Kummeneje Mellem, Linn Rebekka Åmo, Karin Aurora Lindell, Cato Løland, Åse Ljones, Siri Berqvam, Malin Bulow og Anne Knutsen/Karen Kviltu Lidal

Les mer og se hele programmet på contextile.pt


CONTEXTILE 2022 (English)

One on the most significant international biennials for textile and fibre art; Contextile – Contemporary Textile Art Biennial (Contextile), has for its 10th anniversary selected Norway as its Invited Country. In collaboration with the Norwegian Textile Artists (NTK), Contextile are organizing a Norwegian Textile Art exhibition as part of the biennial’s  2022 edition in Guimarães, Portugal. 

The Norwegian presence at the biennale will be spread out over three important cultural sites within the historic city of Guimarães; Museu de Alberto de Alberto Sampaio, Palacete Santiago e Museu da Sociedade Martins Sarmento, exhibiting projects by 12 Norwegian contemporary textile artists including a variety of perspectives that together represents some of the concerns significant in Norwegian contemporary textile art. The exhibitions are curated by Norwegian textile artist Målfridur Adalsteinsdottir and the curator of Contextile 2022, Cláudia Melo, in collaboration with Janis Jefferies and Kiyoshi Yamamoto. 

NTK is a democratic members organization for professional textile artists, and the curators have been particularly concerned with showing a wide range of Norwegian contemporary textile art, showing its vast activity and strong position in the art scene. The artists selected come from many different parts of the country, and with their different generational voices both newly graduated and experienced older artists are represented, with works of art in different disciplines.

Says Målfridur Adalsteinsdottir: “Thematically, the works span a larger field broadly dealing with the body, nature, ecology and the environment. Some of the works explore identity and belonging, while other works revolve around our place in time, and our close but complex relationship to nature. Several of the artists convey poetic and dreamy works and facilitate meditative and sensory experiences. Some work with elaborate mathematical pattern construction, some with the sculptural potential in textiles, while others map out and document. There is a spotlight directed onto the polluting textile industry and the difficult working conditions of the seamstress and textile worker, on over-consumption and the political landscape of our time.”

The Norwegian Textile Artists Exhibition at Contextile 2022 is a collaboration between Norwegian Textile Artists and Contextile – Contemporary Textile Art Biennial and supported by Norwegian Crafts through part-financing and advisory role.

Read more and see the full programme at contextile.pt

Artist presentations for Contextile 2022

Åse Ljones

My art process is fundamentally related to embroidery, and it’s a bit like an examination of stitches in cloth. Embroidering by hand is like drawing or writing with a needle. The freedom, flow and rhythm of it creates a sense of calm. I start with a format, form or frame, and I feel free within these boundaries. The needle and the movement create the flow. Sometimes it follows its own path, but I can reign it in at the next turn. The basis is nature: the relationships and experiences of a long life. I draw from within my own attic of experiences, and I’m constantly in search of a movement where the light, shine, lines, stitches and patterns create a tension in the quietness. I want my works to give viewers an experience of something bigger, something that can grow, a type of infinity. I work in both two and three dimensions. The three-dimensional aspect accentuates the shine and light in the thread’s various qualities. Everything is embroidered on linen. Not until I stretch the embroidery onto a frame or a form do I see whether I’ve achieved the result I was searching for. 

Åse Ljones (b. 1954 in Strandebarm, Norway) lives and works in Bergen. She graduated from the National College of Art and Design in Bergen in 1989. Her works are included in the collections of the National Museum in Oslo, KODE Art Museums in Bergen, the National Museum of Decorative Arts in Trondheim, Sørlandets Kunstmuseum in Kristiansand and other regional museums in Norway. Ljones’s works have been exhibited in solo and group exhibition in Norway and abroad, and she has been awarded several scholarships and grants.

Åsne Kummeneje Mellem

Åsne Kummeneje Mellem uses art as an arena for exploring her Kven identity and belonging. Through Kven craft, called käsityö, she seeks to create a space for dialogue and to reveal a generational gap in the transfer of knowledge. Using conversations with witnesses of history as her starting point, she pieces together fragments of a culture that has been on the verge of extinction. At the same time, she experiments and adds her own expression – thus helping the culture not only to breathe but also to be relevant and continue to grow. At the juncture between traditional crafting techniques and creativity, Åsne Kummeneje Mellem explores the nuances of käsityö – what it has been and what it can be in the context of contemporary art. By using traditional techniques and materials in her own way, she wishes to create a room for dialogue about the Kven culture and identity. Natural materials and recycling are important elements of käsityö,and in her textile works, Åsne Kummeneje Mellem has focused on the art of natural dyeing with stone lichen, a common plant in the north of Norway. 

Åsne Kummeneje Mellem (b. 1995) lives and works in Tromsø, Norway. She studied at Oslo National Academy of the Arts and Tromsø Art Academy / the Arctic University of Norway (master’s degree, 2021). She has participated in several group exhibitions, among others, at Gallery Napa – Rovaniemi and at Tromsø Art Society. Her recent solo exhibitions have been at SOFT galleri in Oslo, Vadsø Museum and Kvitnesgården in Tromsø. She is one of the initiators of the recently-established Kvääni Taiteilijat (Kven artist society) and is active in several arenas in the Kven milieu. Kummeneje Mellem is the first Kven artist to have works purchased by Northern Norway Art Museum in Tromsø. 

Siri Berqvam

I’m interested in the network that connects us all. I make somewhat surrealistic landscapes with needle and thread that are inspired by branching in nature and in the human body – from the hyphae of fungus deep underground to impulses arising through nerve cells in the human brain. My works often take the form of site-specific installations that are inspired by the idea of an uncontrollable, forested wilderness as seen in relation to the body and chaotic mental states. In this way, I compare the forest with the magic of the human spirit. I find it interesting that we always lack control but are constantly trying to achieve it. Fungus represents the opposite of control; it’s mostly invisible and at the same time all around us. The installation Fungus could be associated with abandoned houses or cities – places where catastrophes or unemployment have resulted in ghostly ruins reclaimed by nature and now inhabited by animals. Another theme I work with is the crossover between popular culture and the spiritual world. The installation Dial Tone (Summetone) involves contrasting textile materials and outdated technology. It shows different deconstructed versions of telephones with parts made of stitched and embroidered artificial leather. Communication is beyond time, through another wavelength or in another dimension. The enigmatic perspective is to be found in the nature of art, which may not be defined.

Siri Berqvam (b. 1977 in Skedsmo, Norway) lives and works in Sandefjord. She creates sculptures and installations with textiles as her main materials. She studied at Bergen National Academy of the Arts (master’s degree, 2006). Since then, she has been showing her works in solo and group exhibitions at institutions such as Astrup Fearnley Museum in Oslo, Haugar Vestfold Kunstmuseum in Tønsberg, Vigeland Museum in Oslo, the Norwegian Association for Arts and Crafts’ Annual Craft Exhibition, KODE Art Museums in Bergen, Kunstbanken Hamar, Trondheim Art Association and Haugesund Billedgalleri. In 2020 she received a 10-year work grant from Arts Council Norway. 

Cato Løland 

I’m an interdisciplinary artist and work with various media and materials. My main focus in recent years has been to explore the sculptural potential of textiles and non-pretentious materials. By combining found materials with ready-mades and textiles with various qualities and purposes, I create sculptural works that can enter into dialog with a specific spatial situation. This is often a situation that relates to the body and the human scale as such. The inherent qualities, value and function of my chosen materials are challenged by my improvisation and almost archaeological methods. The sculptural assemblages address a way of thinking that questions hierarchies and highlights new and alternative ways of looking at the world that connects us all. 

Cato Løland (b. 1982 in Kvinnherad, Norway) lives and works in Bergen. He studied at the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki and at Bergen National Academy of the Arts (master’s degree, 2009). Løland has exhibited at several institutions and galleries. Recent exhibitions include Dei ekstraordinære at Sogn og Fjordane Kunstmuseum in Førde, First the Good News at KODE Art Museums in Bergen, Før, før, etter, etter at Tag Team Studios in Bergen, Albogerom at SOFT galleri in Oslo, Folded Lines, Battle and Events at Entrée in Bergen, the International Studio and Curatorial Program (ISCP) in New York, Der Kunstverein in Hamburg and at the Contemporary Art Centre in Riga.

Linn Rebekka Åmo

My work is textile based, and the work process has several phases. To begin, I work spontaneously with drawing, collecting materials and cutting. In material selection, I don’t impose limitations but instead remain open. I work with repurposing textiles because of my interest in their history, and I’m also concerned with the environmental aspect of reusing materials. Working on my textile collages, I put together free-standing elements of colour, form and materials to make elaborate compositions with different textile qualities. I’m constantly gathering materials that may have small historical references, experiences – fragments of lived life. The themes of the works revolve around the discovery of nature, time and our abuse of nature. Still, the works are ambiguous and can be interpreted in many ways. I let myself be inspired by nature’s creatures and forms, and I allow this inspiration to take on new shapes in different fabrics.

Linn Rebekka Åmo (b. 1978 in Bodø, Norway) lives and work in Bodø. She studied at Bergen National Academy of the Arts and Trondheim Academy of Art (master’s degree, 2009). Åmo works mainly with textiles and appliqué techniques. Her art has been featured in group exhibitions such as Høstutstillingen in Oslo, Trøndelagsutstillingen, Den Nordnorske kunstutstilling, the Norwegian Association for Arts and Crafts’ Annual Craft Exhibition and the international art fair Cosmoscow in Moscow. Galleries and other institutions which have presented her works include Stormen Kulturhus in Bodø, Bodø kunstforening, Rake visningsrom and Babel in Trondheim. 

Malin Bulow 

I develop my works through two main components – elasticity and fluidity – which relate specifically to the inherent potential for movement within my chosen materials. Always site-specific, the installations are made with flexible materials that are stretched into monumental sculptures which create tension between the venue’s architecture and setting and traditional representations of bodies in classical sculpture. The installations are ‘activated’ by dancers who perform inside textile membranes that both conceal and hinder them and act as extensions of their skin. These ‘elastic sculptures’ sometimes become performative still lifes – compositions that change almost imperceptibly, so slow are their movements. Like giant umbilical cords or foetal membranes, the large sculptures extend the limits of the dancers’ bodies until they melt into their host architecture, and vice versa. This equivocality around the body, its borders and norms, is at the heart of my work. By using the body as a material in its own right, I explore our evolving relationships with ourselves, with each other and in relation to our environment.  

Malin Bülow (b. 1979 in Jönköping, Sweden) lives and works in Oslo. She studied at Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam and Oslo National Academy of the Arts (master’s degree, 2016) She also holds a master’s degree in neuroscience from Vrije University in Amsterdam. Her latest works, Elastic Bonding, Fluid Tensions and Strained Resilience, have been installed at Lyon Contemporary Art Biennale, the Oslo Opera House and Malmö Art Museum, respectively. Her works are included in the collections of MAC – Modern Art Museum in Lyon, France, and Malmö Art Museum in Sweden. 

Liilian Saksi

The starting point for my artistic practice is raw wool, and hand spinning is my primary technique. I install the finished textile surfaces on walls or as freestanding constructions. These textile surfaces are variations on a recurring theme: the interactions between colours and the colours’ interaction with the wool. My working methods are based on self-determined limitations that alternate between intuitive and systematic decisions. In recent years I’ve worked a lot with the sprang technique. Sprang is a form of braiding that can be reminiscent of weaving, but instead of being built with warp and weft, the surface is made with one or more continuous threads. I stretch the strands of yarn to make them parallel, and row by row, hand-braid the strands into each other. A work grows from the middle outwards. I use wool from the sheep on my family’s farm in Sweden and from my own flock on the farm where I’ve lived and worked since 2020. My motivation is to have the art works be anchored in a life situation and particularly in relationships with other beings. This motivation stems from my interest in humankind’s relationships with animals and questions about the intrinsic value of animals.

Liilian Saksi (b. 1989 in Norrköping, Sweden) lives and works in Skotterud, in rural eastern Norway. She attended Oslo National Academy of the Arts (master’s degree, 2017). Past solo exhibitions include Sparebankstiftelsen DNB’s Grant Exhibition at Oslo Kunstforening, FLOCK at SOFT galleri in Oslo, and Mellan ting at Galleri Storck in Oslo. She has participated in group shows such as Wonderful Everyday at dotdotdot in Stockholm and UNiK mini/ Textile at Galleri Format in Oslo. Later in 2022, she will participate in a group show at the Royal Swedish Academy of Fine Arts in Stockholm and hold a solo exhibition at Kongsvinger Kunstforening.  

Tore Magne Gundersen

After working with sculpture, painting, drawing, printed art and animation, I have over the last eight years worked more and more with textiles. I knit and sew both by hand and with a machine. I use yarn, calico, chiffon, canvas, straw, ready-mades and other things in the production of appliqué works and more or less three-dimensional objects. The largest appliqué works are up to 12 metres long and may be called friezes, or they may be reminiscent of comic strips since they invite viewers to read them as stories. The works become largely impulsive. I fish out figures from the constant stream of alternating thoughts, images and emotions that flow through me day and night. The works can probably be considered as a confrontation and adaptation of my own demons, things I fear, figures from the subconscious, scenes from dreams. Recently, concerns about the precarious situation of the planet and the danger of global collapse have become mixed with a personal precariousness, confusion, aging, instability and death, so I can no longer fully distinguish between the two aspects.

Tore Magne Gundersen (b. 1957 in Froland, Norway) grew up in Kristiansand and lives and works in Oslo. He is a graduate of the National College of Art and Design in Oslo, and Mimar Sinan University in Istanbul. Gundersen’s works have been purchased by the National Museum in Oslo, Sørlandets Kunstmuseum in Kristiansand, KODE Art Museums in Bergen and Bomuldsfabriken Kunsthall in Arendal. From 1919 to 2022 he has had a studio in Oslo City Hall. He has received several scholarships and held many solo exhibitions.

Karin Aurora Lindell

I work conceptually, focusing on and problematising different aspects of today’s textile industry – for instance the flagging out the West’s textile production to the East, globalisation, human dignity, consumer power and environmental and health-related issues. Labour is far too cheap in the dirty textile industry. At the same time, I want to make visible women’s textile traditions and women’s culture in general and to see them in the international and global perspective that is strongly rooted in my works. Underlying the legacy of women’s textile traditions are centuries of knowledge, insight, toil and care. Textiles are an anonymous but important part of women’s history.

Karin Aurora Lindell (b. 1955 in Husqvarna, Sweden) lives and works in Trondheim. She is trained as a tailor and has had her own workshop since 1978. One of her most important materials is cotton canvas. Originally, she worked with textile printing techniques and clothing, but in recent years she has transitioned to larger formats. In the past 35 years, she has participated in a number of collective and separate exhibitions in Norway and abroad and has received several scholarships. Lindell’s last solo exhibition, Teppefall, was at Kunsthall Trondheim, in connection with the Hannah Ryggen Triennial in April 2022.

Sidsel Palmstrøm

I work conceptually with textile objects and installations. In many of my works, soft and pliable textiles are combined into a stringent form with the help of simple strategies. I seek a point of balance in the encounter between an idea, a material and a technique. It is a space where something can emerge and point beyond the material. The two works shown at Contextile were both originally made for a solo show in Norway in 2014, and they have been reconstructed especially for Contextile 2022. They can be read in different contexts, but there is no doubt that something is at stake. There are obvious references to some of the huge global challenges we face today: the ecological crisis caused by overconsumption and a polluting textile industry, and the constant flow of migrants, whether they are refugees seeking protection from war or simply desperate to cross borders in order to find work and live a decent life.

Sidsel Palmstrøm (b. 1967 in Trondheim, Norway) lives and works in Oslo. She studied at the National College of Art and Design in Oslo (degree, 1995). Since then, she has explored and expanded the framework and understanding of the wide field called textile art. Palmstrøm has held numerous solo exhibitions in Norway and participated in collective and group exhibitions in Norway, Sweden, Turkey and Poland. Her works have been purchased by the National Museum in Oslo, KODE Art Museums in Bergen, the National Museum of Applied and Decorative Arts in Trondheim, the Research Council of Norway and the City of Oslo Art Collection. Since 2016, she has been an associate professor of textile art at Oslo National Academy of the Arts, Art and Craft Department.

Ingunn Bakke

I draw and construct geometric patterns digitally, then, using modules, create them in large formats. My working process is all about form, repetition, rhythm, colour and order. I enjoy working with installations, and my ambition is to develop a sort of dialogue between the works of art and the specific spaces where they are exhibited. Until recently, I was printing patterns on wool and silk cloth. Currently, I’m exploring ‘textile’ practices and traditions which have been applied to wood-based and harder materials. I see myself as strongly rooted in a Nordic textile tradition.

Ingunn Bakke (b. 1966 in Høyanger, Norway) lives and works in Oslo. She studied at Oslo National Academy of the Arts (degree, 1994), where she has been employed as a workshop master for 25 years. She has exhibited in both solo and group exhibitions in Norway and abroad and is represented in the collections of the National Museum in Oslo, Sogn and Fjordane Kunstmuseum in Førde and KODE Art Museums in Bergen. 

Anne Knutsen og Karen Kviltu Lidal

Anne Knutsen

I use flatweave techniques to create monumental textiles with a minimalist visual expression. Through these means, I seek to give the woven surfaces immaterial qualities. The ephemeral, shifting and unstable aspects arise when light hits the painstakingly constructed woven material and animates its surfaces, giving viewers transitory experiences as they move about in the room. The room’s dimensions and character are important for the shaping and mounting of the textiles. I work a lot with models in order to achieve optimal interaction between the textiles and the room. Sometimes I mount them directly on the wall, almost like wallpaper, at other times a bit away from the wall, and in yet other situations, I mount them on simple free-standing constructions that give the textiles more sculptural qualities. My intention is to facilitate spatial, meditative and sensory experiences.

Anne Knutsen (b. 1956 in Bergen, Norway) lives and works in Ski, Norway. She earned a degree in 1987 from the National College of Art and Design in Oslo, and after the school became part of Oslo National Academy of the Arts, she worked there as an associate professor of textile art from 1998 to 2018. Solo exhibitions include Within White at SOFT galleri in Oslo, Reflections atKunstnerforbundet in Oslo, Støvteppe/Dust Curtain at Trondheim Kunstmuseum and RAM galleri in Oslo. Knutsen has shown her works in many group exhibitions in Norway and internationally. She has also created several works of public art, for instance at Byåsen High School in Trondheim and Romsdal High School in Molde. Knutsen`s works are in the collections of the National Museum in Oslo, the National Museum of Decorative Arts in Trondheim and Statens konstråd in Stockholm. Knutsen has curated several public commissions, some of which have been for Oslo Opera House, Nationaltheatret train station in Oslo and Rogaland Theatre in Stavanger.

Karen Kviltu Lidal 

In my practice I weave, draw and make textile sculptures and video performances that map out, trace, document and displace architecture and spaces. I’m interested in the interplay between logic and bodily experience, and it’s important to me that the execution of the projects be through craft and the work of the body. Often using my own body as a scale, I investigate built structures in urban areas, for instance how cities and their architecture relate to the human body and how they hold connections to gender, power and the social sphere.

Karen Kviltu Lidal (b. 1979 in Akershus, Norway) lives and works in Oslo and Berlin. She studied at Oslo National Academy of the Arts (master’s degree, 2008). She is currently planning a solo exhibition at Kunstnerforbundet in Oslo (fall 2022). Previous solo exhibitions include Bauen Wohnen Denken at Tegnerforbundet in Oslo, The Body and the Map at Moss kunstforening and Soft City Pieces at Window Box/Galleri Pushwagner in Oslo. She has participated in group shows at (a selection) Sørlandets kunstmuseum in Kristiansand, Alfa Gallery in Miami, Kunstnernes Hus in Oslo, Akershus kunstsenter in Lillestrøm, SOFT galleri in Oslo and the National Museum in Oslo. Lidal’s works are included in the collections of the National Museum of Decorative Arts and Design in Trondheim and KODE Art Museums in Bergen.

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