The Needle’s Eye. Contemporary embroidery

22 February 2015–16 May 2015

The Museum of Decorative Arts and Design

Within the expanded field of contemporary art, there has in recent decades been a resurgence of interest in embroidery. This exhibition focuses on Norwegian and international contemporary embroidery and takes a closer look at why some artist choose to work with the medium.

Contemporary embroidery distinguishes itself clearly from earlier forms of the art. In particular, traditional embroidery was generally a matter of copying rather than a free artistic activity. In employing the techniques of embroidery, contemporary artists forge more or less explicit links with the past. Consequently, the exhibition also includes several older embroideries.

The older works are ranged alongside the contemporary embroideries, creating a dialogue that explores the following themes: The realities of embroidery, Time, memory and traces, Tradition and heritage, Narrative, Power and status. All the works in the exhibition can be viewed in relation to one or more of these themes, helping us to understand them in greater depth. These headings show embroidery’s continuing relevance as an artistic medium well suited to comment on social issues, art and the traditions of embroidery.

Participating artists: Málfriður Adalsteinsdottir, Bren Ahearn, Ghada Amer/Reza Farkhondeh, Maurizio Anzeri, Linda Behar, Eliza Bennett, Anne Ingeborg Biringvad, Lou Cabeen, Sonya Clark, Orly Cogan, Susan Collis, Regien Cox, Siri Ensrud, Jochen Flinzer, Kristine Fornes, Flore Gardner, Patrick Ian Hartley, Erlend Helling-Larsen, Erik Hellsten, Kent Henricksen, Elana Herzog, Kimsooja, Åse Ljones, Nava Lubelski, Anna von Mertens, Gunvor Nervold Antonsen, Sidsel Palmstrøm, Hans Hamid Rasmussen, John K. Raustein, Maria Manuela Rodrigues, Tucker Schwarz, Maria Ryan Sondresen, Lars Sture, Marion Strunk, Susie Vickery and Synnøve Øyen.

The exhibition is a collaboration between KODE – Art Museums in Bergen and The National Museum