Craft 2016: larger than itself

Installing Craft 2016 in the Hydrogen Factory, Fredrikstad

For this year’s annual exhibition for contemporary crafts, the Norwegian Association for Arts and Crafts has joined forces with Østfold Art Centre and the Hydrogen Factory in Fredrikstad. The exhibition will be the main event at - SKOP Østfold Art Festival that opens on 17 September.

Elin Hedberg: Changing Perspective (2015/2016)
Emil Gustafsson: Mekanisme og gummikant (2016)
Felieke van der Leest: Brachiosaurus Tree with UFO nest and Alien eggs (2016)

- This year our annual exhibition is larger than itself. Craft 2016 is part of a broad-ranging art festival in Østfold County called –SKOP. The festival is arranged by the co-hosts of the exhibition, Østfold Art Centre and Fredrikstad Innovasjonspark, and the exhibition and the festival will benefit from each other in terms of programming and audience, says Marit Lønning Reiten, Director of Programmes at the Norwegian Association for Arts and Crafts, and Putte H. Dal, Director of Programmes at Østfold Art Centre.

- –SKOP shares the Norwegian Association for Arts and Crafts’ goal of visibility and recruiting, of offering the residents and the public an opportunity to experience and explore superior quality contemporary art and of providing information and instruction to children and adolescents, as well as creating a stimulating milieu for the exchange of expertise between artists.

Inger Johanne Rasmussen: De som leiter etter meningen (2015)
Nils Martin: Isbrelett/lava glaciers (2016)

Contemporary crafts and site-responsive works
The artists in the Craft-exhibition are selected by a jury after an open call. This year’s jury has consisted of textile artist Hilde Hauan Johnsen, ceramic artist Jim Darbu, jewellery artist Reinhold Ziegler and Putte H. Dal (representative from Østfold Art Centre).

- The hall in the Hydrogen Factory is a unique venue measuring over 5002 m, with a 15-meter high ceiling, which has provided us with the opportunity to show larger works than has been customary. This year’s jury has therefore encouraged the artists to exploit the potential inherent in the gallery space, with larger works and site-specific projects, and our wishes have been heard, states the jury who received 357 applications and has so far made a first selection from 935 works.

- Craft can, if you will, be perceived as a sensual exploration of, and a formative discussion with, the materials that surround us. Site-responsive art invites us to reflect on this discussion and how we relate to the space, says Marit Lønning Reiten and Putte H. Dal who will arrange an academic seminar about the specific conditions and possibilities associated with craft in urban spaces as one of the events during the exhibition.

One of the artists who have submitted a site-responsive project, ceramic artist Martin Woll Godal, will also be present as Artist in Residence throughout the duration of the festival.

- In his oeuvre Woll Godal explores the relationship between space and the human being as builder, and during his residency his point of departure is the existing architecture at the Hydrogen Factory. He will periodically invite the public to presentations in the project room, so that visitors to the annual craft exhibition might gain insight into the working processes of an artist, says Marit Lønning Reiten and Putte H. Dal.

Gabriel Johann Kvendseth: The Irrelevance of Gravity (Escapism ≥ Gravity I) (2013)
Gunvor Nervold Antonsen: Repetisjoner av et stille rom (2015)
Hanne Friis: Dark structures (2016)

Interplay between Norwegian and international craft
While a final selection of artists and works took place by the end of August, the full list was first made public on Friday. However, a few artists’ names had already been announced; jewellery artist Sigurd Bronger, ceramic artist May von Krogh, ceramic artist Sigrid Espelien and textile artist Karen Lidal. The jury also has a mandate to invite guest artists, which this year’s jury chose to take advantage of.

- Our unique collaboration with Østfold Art Centre provided us with the gallery space to invite the Swedish-Sami textile artist Britta Marakatt-Labba, the German jewellery artist Alexander Blank and the Norwegian ceramic artist duo Ingrid Askeland and Elin Aasheim to exhibit their work as part of the annual exhibition.

The artists represent three different material groups and come from another Nordic country, Europe and Norway respectively.

- The aim is to shed light on what the jury perceives as an interesting interplay between Norwegian and international craft. One of the common traits of the guest artists is that they comment on their individual cultures via mythical and narrative techniques, states the jury.

Alexander Blank: Memento Juniori (Speedy), 2011

The collaboration with Østfold Kunstsenter and the Hydrogen Factory is new of the year. Previously the annual exhibition has been made in collaboration with the National Museum in Oslo and, in 2014, KODE – Art Museums of Bergen.

- The annual exhibition of Norwegian crafts is in its essence a collaboration project. The Norwegian Association for Arts and Crafts has produced the annual show since its inception in 1975, but has never had its own exhibition venue, states Elisabeth Sørheim, Managing Director at the Norwegian Association for Arts and Crafts.

- One of the strengths of a new collaboration is the curiosity that it arouses in the artists, the organisers and the public. New conditions require new solutions for displaying and presenting the artworks.

Kiyoshi Yamamoto: If I fall let me fall, even if I crash and burn (2016)
Moa Håkansson: Trängd (2015)
May von Krogh: Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. The hands can´t hit what the eyes can´t see. (2016)


In the Hydrogen Factory: 

Ingrid Aarset, Kari Aasen, Gunvor Nervold Antonsen, Pia Antonsen Rognes, Ida Olesdatter Barland, Marianne Berg, Dag Bratbergsengen, Sigurd Bronger, Åsil Bøthun, Rikke Sund Carlsen, Thomas Iversen, Hilde A Danielsen, Ingeborg Elieson, Sigrid Espelien, Anneke von der Fehr, Tona Gulpinar, Hanne Friis, Noomi Gjerde, Martin Woll Godal, Olia Gorohova, Emil Gustafsson, Elin Hedberg, Moa Håkansson, Kari Håkonsen, Aleksander Jæger, May von Krogh, Gabriel Johann Kvendseth, Felieke van der Leest, Karen Kviltu Lidal, Frode Lillesund, Åse Ljones, Anne-Gry Løland, Nils Martin, Katrine Meisfjord, Andrea Muribø, Stein Nerland, Bjarne Nielsen, Piotr Nowak, Sofie Nørsteng, Ellen Marie Blakstad Paus, Inger Johanne Rasmussen, Philipp Spillmann, Ann Beate Tempelhaug, Åse-Marit Thorbjørnsrud, Runa Vethal Stølen, Kiyoshi Yamamoto,  Hanne Øverland & Johanne Lund Ness

In Østfold Art Centre: 

Elin Aasheim & Ingrid Askeland, Alexander Blank, Britta Marakatt-Labba

Sofie Nørsteng: Øvelse i Poesi (2016)

About the exhibition:
Craft is an annual, juried exhibition showing the finest of contemporary crafts in Norway. The exhibition is organised by the Norwegian Association for Arts and Crafts and has previously been shown in collaboration with the National Museum in Oslo and KODE – Art Museums of Bergen. This year, Craft is organised in collaboration with Østfold Kunstsenter and Hydrogenfabrikken, as part of the art festival -SKOP.  

The jury for Craft 2016 consists of:
Hilde Hauan Johnsen (chair), textile artist and professor at Bergen Academy of Art and Design
Jim Darbu, ceramics artist
Reinhold Ziegler, jewellery artist
Putte H. Dal, jewellery artist and curator

The jury of 2016: Jim Darbu, Putte H. Dal, Reinhold Ziegler and Hilde Hauan Johnsen

Craft 2016
17 September - 16 October
Østfold Art Centre and the Hydrogen Factory, Fredrikstad, Norway

Opening receptions:
17. September 13.00 – Østfold Art Centre
17. September 15.00 - the Hydrogen Factory

Norske Kunsthåndverkere, Østfold Art Centre and Hydrogenfabrikken.