Photo: Laila Susanna Kuhmunen, The Karesuando Traditional Costume Adapted to Special Needs, 2016, Polyester

Dialogue of Tradition and Contemporary Art and Design highlighted in the Arctic Arts Summit 2019


The Arctic Arts Summit 2019 includes a variety of themes, such as `Challenges and opportunities for the arts in the Arctic´, `Culturally Sustainable Development´, and `Creative Capability Building.´ Heritage influencing contemporary art and design is one the subthemes that is discussed in several panel discussion and presented in the exhibitions. The University of Lapland, the Nordic Culture Fund, and the Norwegian Crafts have produced content for panel discussions by inviting knowledge holders, crafters and researchers of this field. Especially Sámi duodji is discussed in several sessions.

Fringe exhibition will be opened in Gallery Valo in the first day of the Summit. The title of the exhibition Fringe refers to the outer edge, the margin or the periphery. When something is regarded as peripheral, marginal or extreme in relation to something, it often needs to be respected and protected. The exhibition makes connections through art and crafts, showing works by artists who have studied the dialogue themes from various perspectives with handmade techniques.

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 threats 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 exhibition is part of the Arctic Handmade collaboration among three universities – Iceland University of the Arts (IS), University of Lapland, (FI) and Sami Allaskuvla/Sami University of Applied Sciences (NO) – as well as the Arctic Art Forum (RU). The first exhibition under the project was called Interwoven and shown in Rovaniemi and Reykjavik. The project has been beneficial to all as it has shed light on cultural awareness and provided the participants with international experience through rich dialogue. The curators and the producers of the Fringe are Ekaterina Sharova, Maria Huhmarniemi and Ásthildur Jónsdóttir. The exhibition is funded by the Nordic Culture Fund, the University of Lapland and Sami Allaskuvla/Sami University of Applied Sciences.

The exhibition will be shown in Gallery Valo in Arktikum House, Rovaniemi, Finland. It will be opened as part of the Arctic Arts Summit 2019.

More information on panel discussions focusing on crafts,--Art-in-the-Arctic

More information on exhibitions in the Arctic Arts Summit