This month we are highlighting artists who in various ways have interpreted the relationship between what is natural and artificial element, finding a mid-point between the two, for example by using natural materials to create artificial and constructed shapes or the opposite.
Sandra Vaka (b. 1980, Stavanger) holds a degree from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen (MFA), and the Academy of Fine Arts in Oslo (BA). She works primarily with photography, sculpture and installation. Through a conceptual approach to photography, Vaka juxtaposes seemingly incompatible factors such as water and technology, the eternal and the perishable. In particular, she explores how human perception, body and identity evolve in a constantly changing reality and nature. Both humor and seriousness are combined when Vaka explores everyday things that we connect to our body, such as towels, straws and screens, with a nod to desire, consumption and pleasure that characterizes today's consumer society.
Vaka's work is included in a number of public collections, such as Stavanger Art Museum, KORO - Art in public space, Statens Kunstfond (DK) and NOCO - Nordic Contemporary Art Collection (SE). Vaka lives and works in Stavanger and Berlin.
In these works the artist makes a metaphorical connection between something artificial like a plastic straw, and flower stalks. The result is a series of objects in which nature and artificial blend together as one new creature.
Kaja Dahl →
Kaja Dahl (b.1984, Oslo) has a master's degree in Design for Luxury and Craftsmanship from ECAL in Switzerland and a bachelor's degree in Product and Interior Design from Beckmans College of Design in Stockholm. She works with various materials such as raw stone, terracotta, glass and porcelain, and creates sculptures that respond to a desire to enhance the sensual relationship humans have with the natural materials around them. With techniques that cross between craftsmanship and product design, Dahl creates unique and tactile works with a characteristic aesthetic sensibility. Dahl has been based in Oslo since 2019 after a number of years with design-related projects and residencies abroad.
Here the artist uses natural materials, such as wood or stone, to create new artificial objects, and sculptures, that want to dialogue with humans. Her artworks can be considered as the mid-point between humans and nature.
Jon Benjamin Tallerås →
Jon Benjamin Tallerås (b. 1984, Oslo) investigates the relationship between the individual and the urban environment. His work questions ownership through exploring different ways of navigating, seeing and exploring the ever-changing landscape of the city. domain. Looking and reading about Tallerås’ artists practice, the word flaneur easily comes to mind.
In his film “Errant Wondering” (2012) the artist is using the urban landscape in unconventional ways – jumping over fences, walking on roofs and train-tracks, climbing buildings, lampposts and gutters. Unusual acts of utilizing and seeing the city is at the center of his works. The work “Traversing the city” (2017) shows Tallerås walking the city from east to west in the underground – a passage of travelling used by large amounts of people every day, though always safely inside a train.
The romantic way of using nature is the way Tallerås uses the city, challenging rules of where to go and not. In all of his works, Tallerås is performing social readings of the ways of the city - questioning what is private versus what is public domain, and the relations between juridical, social and physical constructions. Tallerås’ interpretations of the changing urban language can be applied to many rapidly growing cities in Europe and the world.
Kaare Ruud (b. 1993, Gausdal) is educated from the Art Academy in Oslo and Bergen. In his works everyday functional objects are transformed into sculptures with new material characteristics. Giant size tables that make you feel small, a plastic hose with a bronze head moving around the house like a snake and bronze sculptures of living things that are now sealed in its form. With the crossing of material boundaries, common objects are made into something abstract and complex.
Here natural objects are transformed into human shapes conveying feelings that are part of the human world. Nature is used as a tool to express something that is not rational and objective as nature could be, but more subjective as part of the human world.