This exhibition marks the conclusion of a three-year artistic research project called Textiles in the Extended Field of Painting, conducted through the Norwegian Artistic Research Programme at the Bergen Academy of Art & Design’s Fine Art Department. The Programme is parallel to other research educations organized as academic PhD programmes.
The works in this exhibition explore the desire to find one’s place in the world, a place of one’s own. Three years ago, I acquired a piece of land in the south of Iceland. I had no previous connections to this place and have, since then, been forming roots and planning a future on this land. It is situated in the middle of farmland, flat, with a far extending view to the surrounding mountains and towards the ocean. It has diverse rich flora, which is typical for that part of the country, such as meadowsweet, northern bedstraw and stone bramble.
The exhibition colors of belonging takes this piece of land as its point of departure. For me the land functions as a platform to contemplate issues of belonging and ecological disruption. Through this land I position myself in time and space, personally, politically and artistically.
The plants on the land act as recording devices of the place they grow in and the ecological and social system they belong to, collecting information through the soil and the air, as well as their roots, petals, flowers and leaves. This information is passed on in the colors I extract from the plants and which I have used to make the works.
Key elements in the project are woven paintings and plant dyed silk. The paintings are made from plant dyed wool and linen thread covered with acrylic paint. By using these two types of color systems, one industrially made and the other a natural system, I sharpen the characteristics of each color and create a dialogue between two different substances. In my work I use the color as a material, I am more concerned with where color comes from than what it looks like. Each silk is dyed with the color of one type of plant and I use the supporting structure of the building as a framing device for the display of these pieces.
All works in the exhibition are specific to a certain place and time and can be seen as systems, which bring out different information, feelings and elements of the land, taking a look at it from different angles. These are my systems, they are artistic, subjective and autonomous, and give a structure to the pursuit that has resulted in this exhibition.