Taking the pulse of contemporary crafts in Norway.
The Annual Crafts Exhibition is the largest annual display of Norwegian contemporary crafts. Anyone working with materials-based art in Norway can apply to take part, and this year saw 762 artists with over 2000 works seek entry to the exhibition. The final presentation consists 63 works by 56 artists.
Ranging from small objects to sculptures, wall hangings and larger installations, the exhibition features works employing ceramics, textiles, glass, wood and metal. Such contributions may be innovative in terms of concept and subject, in the approach to the materials and in the form and appearance of the work – or reveal trends and tendencies for inspiration.
Some of the works tell stories about the transformation they have undergone. Materials appear to change, to be something other than what they actually are: clay is reminiscent of leather while lace and textiles cascade like running water. The exhibition shows how materials, techniques, motifs, uses and references can help influence and comment upon the times in which we live. Themes this year include women’s health, identity, and issues relating to climate and the natural world.
Traditionally speaking, craft objects are works of art rooted in the materials used and the history of the craft itself. Today's artisans have expanded the scope of the subject both in terms of choice of materials and techniques.
The featured artists in this year’s exhibition differ widely in respect of age, experience and geographical affiliation. 14 of them have not previously participated in the Annual Exhibition.
In connection with the opening of the exhibition, a number of prizes were awarded to exhibiting artists: the Arts and Crafts Prize awarded by the Relief Fund for Visual Artists, the Finn Erik Alsos Memorial Prize and the Debutant Prize awarded by the Norwegian Association for Arts and Crafts. Find out who won here (in Norwegian).
Collaboration between the Norwegian Association for Arts and Crafts and the National Museum goes back a long way. The Annual Crafts Exhibition took place at the former Norwegian Museum of Decorative Arts and Design in Oslo on no less than 20 occasions. Now, you can visit the Annual Crafts Exhibition at the new National Museum for the first time.
The jury for this year’s exhibition consists of jewellery artist Ingjerd Hanevold, ceramic artist Moa Håkansson, glass artist Kjersti Johannessen and curator Inger Helene N. Stemshaug from the National Museum.