The Vessel is an online magazine about crafts and material culture. The Vessel looks at the world through a craft lens – showcasing making practices, visual expression, and material knowledge from a multitude of perspectives. The magazine was launched 5 November 2021 with its first issue titled Living Archives.
Norwegian Crafts was originally set up as an online magazine designed to promote Norwegian craft artists internationally nearly ten years ago. Since then, the organisation’s programming portfolio has grown to include exhibitions, grant schemes, seminars, residencies, and much more. With The Vessel, we hope to entice more people to immerse themselves in craft, making practices and material culture.
Issue 3: Embodied Knowledge – Exploring the Influence of Whakapapa and Maadtoe jah Maahtoe
The third issue of The Vessel explores ideas of whakapapa and maadtoe jah maahtoe (introduction below) within different material customs, describing the connections between Indigenious knowledge systems from Saepmie and across Te Moana nui a Kiwa, the Pacific Ocean. Whakapapa is a Māori worldview that acts as a framework for ensuring we acknowledge the responsibility we have to all things in the world around us. For Sami people, maadtoe similarly has an expansive meaning, relating to origin, ancestors, lineage, and descent. Maahtoe speaks to the kind of knowledge that sits in your body which finds expression in art, language, and creative practice.
The issue features articles by Tanya White, Inga-Wiktoria Påve and Fredrik Prost, and Katarina Spik Skum; an essay by Johan Sandberg McGuinne; presentations of the practices of Jasmine Togo-Brisby, Dorothy Waetford, Raukura Turei and Ron Te Kawa; a conversation between Monika Svonni and Carola Grahn; and an introduction to the South Sami hair jewellery baarkaldahke with Lova Isabelle Lundberg.
Embodied Knowledge is edited by deputy director of Objectspace Zoe Black, artist Carola Grahn, and artist and arts educator Jasmine Te Hira. The issue is produced in collaboration with Objectspace and is supported by Creative New Zealand. It grew from a series of online discussions held in 2020 titled Stories of Making: Across the Ocean, over the Mountain, a project collaboratively initiated by Objectspace
and Norwegian Crafts to create opportunities for dialogue between
Indigenous making practitioners in Saepmie and Aotearoa New Zealand.
Issue 2: Re-Acting Fibres
The second issue of The Vessel, Re-Acting Fibres, takes an artwork by the artists Siri Hjorth and Sebastian Makonnen Kjølaas as its point of departure. Re-Acting Fibres looks towards artists, makers, and thinkers that through their work attempt to repair, rethink, and re-act fibres. The featured projects and practices explore the potential of fibre art and textile to encourage new ways of thinking about our present time and possible futures.
Re-Acting Fibres features an interview with Mooky Dagan on dancer, choreographer and artist Noa Eshkol written by Marianne Hultman, an essay on textiles’ ability to restore planetary health by Carole Collet, a visual essay featuring five Norwegian artists and designers that have left the city and embraced rural life by Adam Curtis, an essay on Winona LaDuke’s hemp farm in Gaa-waabaabiganikaag in northern Minnesota written by Oscar Tuazon and Dorothée Perret, and a recorded conversation between designers Linda Nurk and Natsai Audrey Chieza on how they engage with living systems and technology to build sustainable design practices.
Re-Acting Fibres is edited by curator at Musée d’Art Moderne Paris Anne Dressen; textile artist, curator, exhibition designer, interior architect and founder of the gallery Fiberspace in Stockholm Marcia Harvey Isaksson; associate professor of costume design and fashion design at Oslo National Academy of the Arts Ida Falck Øien; and Norwegian Crafts curator Lars Sture.
Issue 1: Living Archives
The first issue of the Vessel, titled Living Archives features interviews with artist and weaver Matthew McIntyre Wilson, artist and Kven crafts practitioner Åsne Kummeneje Mellem, and textile artist Hilde Hauan Johnsen. The issue also includes essays by instrument maker Tāmihana Kātene and writer and photographer Susanne Hætta. The issue focuses on how artists have used archives, museum collections, and knowledge-holders to resurrect endangered making practices, and how these making practices relate to identity, community, and land.
The inaugural issue of The Vessel is edited by curator of the Sámi collection at Norsk Folkemuseum Káren Elle Gaup, collection manager Kaitiaki Taonga at the Museum of New Zeland Te Papa Cameron Woolford and ceramic artist and associate professor at Oslo National Academy of the Arts Marte Johnslien.
The Vessel collaborates with external editors, artists, and writers to make the content of each issue relevant to people from different geographies and backgrounds. Norwegian Crafts opts to recruit new editors for each issue and leave the commissioning of articles and other content up to them.