Historically, nature has been a source of inspiration for many artists. This month we are highlighting artists who in various ways have interpreted natural materials in their practice, through both painting and sculpture.
The sand paintings of Magnus Vatvedt (b.1981) immediately appear abstract and gestural. Thick layers of light and dark mass are distributed over the canvas with a thick brush or a wide spatula. However, the expression is further charged by its material component. The canvas is not painted in the traditional sense, but rather with site-specific sand from places around the world, obtained by the artist himself. Thereby, the work reconciles the personal document of his travels and a reflection on the history of painting as documentation. Together, the work could be interpreted as a reflection of the artist's escapist worldview. By referencing countless beaches, one can imagine warm days in the sand - searching for the meaning of life as one gazes out at the waves lapping at one's feet.
Ali Shah Gallefoss (b. 1989) has a degree in Furniture and Spatial Design from Bergen Academy of Fine Art and Design. For the exhibition 'Among mountain landslides and frost heaves', he worked with the almost paradoxal relationship between man and nature. In response to man's excessive need to shape and control the environment, Gallefoss produced unpolished objects close to their natural form, where the visual and material qualities remain the same regardless of man-made "errors".
Kaare Ruud (b. 1993) is educated from the Art Academy in Oslo and Bergen. In his works everyday functional objects are transformed into sculptures with new material characteristics. With the crossing of material boundaries, common objects are made into something abstract and complex.
Kaja Dahl (f. 1984) har en mastergrad i Design for Luxury and Craftsmanship fra ECAL i Sveits og en bachelorgrad i Product and Interior Design fra Beckmans College of Design i Stockholm. Hun arbeider med ulike materialer som rå sten, terrakotta, glass og porselen, og skaper skulpturer som svarer til et ønske om å forsterke det sanselige forholdet mennesket har til naturmaterialene rundt seg. Med teknikker som krysser mellom håndverk og produktdesign skaper Dahl unike og taktile verk med en karakteristisk estetisk sanselighet. Dahl har siden 2019 vært basert i Oslo etter en rekke år med designrelaterte prosjekter og residenser i utlandet.