The exhibition features the work of Nina Malterud, who was awarded a retrospective solo exhibition at KODE Art Museum in Bergen in 2022 and Marit Tingleff, who presented a solo exhibition of work at Landskrona Konsthall, Sweden, also in 2022. From 2019 to 2020, works by Kari Dyrdal and Marit Tingleff were shown in a touring exhibition entitled Forces - Dyrdal Kvasbø Tingleff at Musée de Sévres, Paris; KODE Art Museums, Bergen and Sørlandets Kunstmuseum, Kristiansand. In addition, the show features the work of Heidi Bjørgan and Hanne Heutch.
In comparison to many other countries, Norway’s ceramics history is relatively short. Norwegians traditionally made domestic objects out of wood and iron with the first potteries established in the 16th century and porcelain factories emerging in the 19th century. Marit Tingleff, one of Norway’s most celebrated ceramic artists believes that ‘because of this special history, Norwegians do not connect strongly to any particular ceramic tradition’ and that this has been liberating, with students today ‘exploring the material in radical ways, free from tradition and expectations, which is really interesting.’
In relation to textile art, the Norwegian standard in the middle of the 20th century centred on the notion that weaving should be precise and ‘perfect’. In the 1960’s, exhibitions by artists such as Poland’s Magdalena Abakanowicz generated an increased interest in this art in the country. This resulted in a more expressive approach and the notion that the creation of a new visual language was equally as important.
About the artists
Hanne Heuch (1954). Educated at Bergen School of Arts and Crafts and the National College of Art and Design, Oslo. The early stages of her career coincided with the emergence of an international expressionist style in art and design; a movement that emphasized a great freedom of expression and use of materials. This was in contrast to the ‘pure and pretty’ expression of Scandinavian design ideology.
Heuch's work has been described as simple and raw, but also sensitive and monumental with shapes that are viewed as a bold continuation of ceramic tradition, but are also given a personal expressive touch.
Her work is included in many public and private collections including SKMU Sørlandets Kunstmuseum, Kristiansand and the Museums of Decorative Arts in Oslo, Bergen and Trondheim.
Heidi Bjørgan (b. 1970). Graduated from the Bergen Academy of Art and Design with a masters in Ceramic Art and Creative Curating. Bjørgan challenges the notion of what a potter may be by ‘removing’ all traces of acquired professional skills.
Rather than expressing herself through creating new forms, Bjørgan replicates the shape of non-valuable everyday objects. Already discarded as trash and now combined with clay, her reconstructed objects are given a second chance. Presented in a new context, or even given a different function, they are imbued with new meaning, acquire a new value and offer a different aesthetic experience.
Heidi Bjørgan is represented in the collections of the National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, Oslo; Bergen Art Museum KODE, Bergen; the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norway; the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, alongside several private collections around the world.
Kari Dyrdal (b. 1952). With a background in textile design at both Bergen Kunsthandverkskole and at Croydon College of Art and Technology, London. Creating large-scale woven pieces, Dyrdal exposes the traditional methods and techniques of weaving while at the same time using new digital tools both in the research and production of her work.
For this artist, theme and concept are researched through construction, both visually and materially in the loom with her starting point being her photographs, which are transformed to woven surfaces. The challenge is to give content to the technique and textural quality to the surface, to create work with a strong tactile presence that also has an intellectual dimension.
Kari Dyrdal’s work is included in a number of public collections including the National Museum, Oslo; the Museum of Fine Arts Boston and the KODE/Vestlandske Kunstindustrimuseum, Bergen.
Marit Tingleff (b. 1954). One of Norway’s most celebrated contemporary ceramic artists. Taking the landscape of her own daily life as a starting point, referencing nature, land and seascapes and employing a painterly approach, TIngleff maintains an incredible sense of spontaneity, balancing areas of light and dark, pattern and empty space while playing with different ways of mark making.
Her work is included in a number of museums including The National Museum/The Museum of Decorative Art, Oslo, Norway; Design Museum, Copenhagen Denmark and the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, UK. She has been awarded several public commissions including work for the Norwegian Government Representation Buildings, Oslo, Norway.
Nina Malterud (b. 1951). Educated at the National College of Art and Design in Oslo [1971-1974] and has been working with ceramics since 1975, in Oslo and later in Bergen. She has had a number of solo exhibitions and participated in group exhibitions since 1976, she has done public commissions with large pots and tiles and she is represented in all the relevant public collections in Norway.
She was awarded a comprehensive retrospective solo exhibition at KODE Art Museum in Bergen, Norway, in 2022.