This month, we're focusing on materiality, and the tension between opposites that occur simultaneously in the artwork. It can be between inorganic and organic, hard and soft, beautiful and grotesque, fantasy and reality, and the list goes on.
Erika Stöckel (b. 1989, Kiruna, SE) holds a degree from the Art Academy in Oslo and the Academy of Fine Arts Umeå. She works mainly with ceramics, and her sculptures give a sense of organic growth in the form of effervescent ceramic forms built layer upon layer. The repressed body is in focus in Stöckel's work. The bulging sculptures act as a representation of the body, in which Stöckel ask questions about bodily self-image; her identity as Sami is an important element in this, and the works illustrate both shame and ownership of one's own body and identity. The question of a normative body and how we turn subject into object through our gaze is a pervasive theme in her practice.
Stöckel has been acquired by Public art agency, Sweden and Gothenburg Art, amongst others.
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.
Nebil Zaman (f.1985, Kurdistan, Iraq) has a degree in Furniture Design and Interior Architecture from Oslo National Academy of the Arts. In combining his background from traditional woodworking, advertising and furniture design with his childhood upbringing and experiences, Zaman explores how our surroundings affect us socially and culturally through the use of different materials, production techniques, and visual languages. His formal language and aesthetic stems from a fascination with ancient civilizations, archaeological encounters, science fiction and futuristic visions. The scope of his creative process focuses on the combination of digital fabrication and handcraft methods. Zaman is most intrigued by the materiality of plaster, as it provides an organic element of expression and a sense of freedom.
Zaman was awarded the ‘DOGA Award for Newcomers’ 2017 for his project “Personal Space”, a bench that invites to reflect on how we relate to one another. The piece was acquired by the National Museum of Norway in 2019.
Ali Gallefoss (b. 1989, Bergen) holds a degree in Furniture and Spatial Design from Bergen Academy of Fine Art and Design (2018) and the Oslo Academy of the Arts (2022). Gallefoss has early established himself as one of Norway's foremost designers and performing craftsmen, and was quickly noticed by well-known Norwegian designers such as Holzweiler and Snøhetta. In 2019, Gallefoss created a sculpture of superfluous scarves and cuts from the stone industry for the Norwegian clothing brand Holzweiler, which was later installed at Dover Street Market in Beijing. In 2020, he was selected to exhibit as part of Norwegian Presence 2020 at Salon Satelite in Milan. The same year he also won Bo Bedre's design award as the year's newcomer. In 2021, he worked with Snøhetta to create Holzweiler's new store in his hometown of Bergen and was later chosen to curate a jewelry exhibition for Oslo Fushion Festival called "Abstract Landscape" where he produced a number of works in stone, bronze, aluminum, glass and textile.
Gallefoss is acquired by Equinor Art Programme.
Pettersen & Hein is a collaboration between Lea Hein and Magnus Pettersen. Hein is a furniture designer educated at HDK Valand, University of Gothenburg in Sweden, and Pettersen is an artist educated at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts.
What happens when design is no longer comprised by function, but longs for the aesthetic and ethical freedom of art? American artist Richard Artschwager once said, “If you sit on it, it’s a chair. If you walk around it and look at it, it’s a sculpture”. Some objects invite for different ways of living and using a space by paying homage to materials, color and form rather than functional use, thereby taking on a clear unique, bold position, the end-result often being intriguing and extraordinary. When boundaries between design and art are effaced potential for magic occurs.
Their different backgrounds and the goal of collaboration allow the duo to explore a new practice and experiment with beautiful and poetic results. The works are designs, but without the typical constraints of form and function. The aesthetic exploration free from rules and function, celebrating material, form, and color, enables them to create new sculptural forms. With their powerful works, they question the entire idea of product and art.