This month we are highlighting artists who in various ways use fabric and threads to create textile artworks.
Fabric can be used in different ways, it can be the canvas of a painting becoming three-dimensional, or it can be folded and stitched into a sculpture for example.
Hannne Friis, Ellen Grieg and Liv Tandrevold Eriksen are three Norwegian artists who in different ways, use the same organic material to create very different personal artworks.
Hanne Friis (b. 1972, Oslo) is educated in painting and sculpture at the Art Academy in Trondheim. She is primarily known for her sensuous, abstract sculptures in various textile materials. A significant part of her fabrics are stained by plants through slow dyeing processes which give the surfaces a painterly expression. The sculptures are carefully crafted by hand with a distinctive stitching technique; with a small needle Friis transforms the material by folding and pressing the fabric into organic formations and complex structures that generate a sense of change and growth. The ambiguity in the relationship between form and materiality is a recurring theme.
Friis’ work is included in the collection of Haugar Art Museum, Tønsberg, Sørlandets Art Museum, Kristiansand, The Norwegian Government, Oslo, KODE Art Museum, Bergen, The National Museum, Oslo, The Museum of Decorative Arts, Trondheim, The Art Museum of Northern Norway, Tromsø, The Haugalandmuseum in Haugesund and The Arts Council, Norway as well as numerous private collections nationally and abroad.
On Ellen Grieg
By André Gali
"Ellen Grieg (B. 1948, Oslo) is an artist who explores an abstract idiom in textile materials. In particular, she has worked with tapestries, whereas more recently she has become known for her heavy, coloured rope sculptures that hang freely in space. For a while, she focused largely in woven utility fabrics and became known for her colourful shawls. There was something fresh and distinctive, playful and poetic about her work.
As part of a generation of pioneers in textile arts, Grieg trained and established herself as an artist in the mid-1970s, during a period of turbulent politics, when textile art was a medium people associated with women’s liberation. Viewed as a predominantly women’s occupation, textile art was on the verge of transitioning from the field of industrial art and decorative design to the realm of contemporary fine art.
Liv Tandrevold Eriksen →
Liv Tandrevold Eriksen (b. 1976, Oslo) is educated from the KHIO Institute of colour in Oslo.
Perhaps the greatest asset in Tandrevold Eriksen’s arsenal of resources is her exquisite lightness of touch. Some of her paintings introduces more physical elements to her layering process. The images are fairly large canvases occupied by amorphous blobs of diluted acrylics onto which fan-like constellations of similarly treated cutouts are attached to the support, either distributed as singularly applied patches or laid out in curvilinear sequences. These hybrid images notably depart from Eriksen’s previous works, inasmuch as the ground’s whiteness is less prominent and the sewn-on patches make for surfaces more textural and cluttered—however, curiously, without shedding the impression of lightness.
The multicoloured attachments look perfectly at home on the paintings’ surfaces, yet seem to hover weightlessly over the pictorial ground, like fluttering confetti. This effect of spatial oscillation—resulting from the appliquéd elements being, quite literally, cut from the same cloth as the rest of the composition whilst remaining materially distinct from it—is an eccentric take on the postmodern pictorial idiom which tilts the horizontal planes of illusionistic recession vertically.
Tandrevold Eriksen is in numerous private collections as well as Statens Kunstråd (SE), Norwegian Culture Council (NO), Equinor (NO), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (NO) and KLP (NO).