The artworks shown at Fringe reflect on different aspects of our existence today. In the exhibition, Sami artists who use craft and cultural knowledge in the context of Sámi duodji are featured with their indigenous traditions in an interesting dialogue with artists who use handcraft traditions based on contemporary settings. The exhibition also consists of a variety of threads to sustainability, including cultural heritage in relation to contemporary art. The works in the exhibition address issues that are everyone’s concern, such as different projects that allow visitors to participate.
The collaboration aims to shed light on cultural awareness and create rich Arctic dialogue. In this exhibition, the artists come from Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia and the United States. The project started as a Nordic initiative, but the project team decided to invite participants from Russia and the United States to extend the dialogue about the Arctic. The Russian artist Gluklya (Natalya Pershina-Yakimanskaya), who has participated in the Venice Biennale, will give a workshop connection to the exhibition. She both shows her own work and creates installations with master’s students, examining the importance of specific local narratives. Gluklya advocates for the horizontal, grassroots tradition that characterises much of her site-specific work, which follows in the footsteps of the Russian avant-garde.
The other invited artist from Russia is Ustina Yakovleva. Her practice revolves around deconstructing and decontextualising nature’s aesthetics with labour-intensive contemplative practices.
Gunvor Guttorm, Laila Susanna Kuhmunen and Maarit Magga are Sámi crafters and knowledge holders on duodji. Their contemporary art is strongly influenced by Sámi heritage and culture. Hildur Bjarnadottir and Louise Harris from Iceland refer to the correlation between nature and culture in their textile work. Ásthildur Jónsdóttir will invite visitors to reflect on many stories from all over the Arctic region in the participatory installation Arctic Aesthetics.
Two artist collectives from Finland and the University of Lapland have joined the exhibition. Maria Huhmarniemi, Elina Härkönen, Miia Mäkinen and Jari Rinne examine a shared cultural heritage of the Arctic through traditional knitting patterns. Their work is based on collaboration with knitters around the Arctic who have shared their knowledge of their regional knitting traditions. The other collective, comprising Antti Stöckell, Antti Jokinen and Tapani Saraste, is working on the shelter theme in a site-specific participatory art project.