Soft artworks are hanging from the ceiling and on the walls at the National Gallery of the Faroe Islands. Knitted and crocheted by Faroese artist Randi Samsonsen
Knitted and crocheted sculptures have occupied the café at the National Gallery of the Faroe Islands. The artworks are made by the Faroese artist Randi Samsonsen.
In the Faroe Islands there is a strong and long tradition of knitting. Historically, it was a necessity for everyone to knit to dress themselves and their family. Once people only knitted with Faroese wool. Today it is too expensive for the Faroese to work the wool into yarn. Often, what was the "gold" of the Faroe Islands is simply burnt and thus not used as a local resource. And the traditions of learning how to knit are more or less removed from the school schedule.
With her knitted sculptures, Randi Samsonsen points out that the Faroese knitting traditions continue to live, even though they have changed - and that knitting has the potential for something completely new. Knit can be used for other than clothing - It can be used to create sculptures.
In the art world, sculptures are often made of hard materials such as marble, plaster or bronze, and they often portray famous people. Randi Samsonsen's soft sculptures are made of wool, some of cotton and others of industrially manufactured fleece as well as velour in strong colors.
What do they imagine?
The sculptures can remind us of a sheeps guts and organs. Others may recall hands and fingers knitting. Have you thought about how hands are held when knitting? It can look very abstract - and that is exactly the impression that Randi Samsonsen has transformed into sculptures. Take a look at the sculptures again and decide which ones are most reminiscent of organs or human knitting hands.
What is the purpose of the works?
With the knitted and crocheted works, Randi Samsonsen reminds us that objects made with by hand and with local products are becoming a rarity. Most of the objects that we surround ourselves with in our everyday lives are mass-produced on the other side of the globe. The museum therefore asks whether we can do it differently in the future. Can we use local resources to a greater extent and safeguard the Faroe Islands' rich craft traditions? Despite globalization, there is a lot going on among Faroese people, and these traditions are kept alive in knitting clubs, where social ties are also strengthened.
Can you touch the sculptures?
Randi Samsonsen's works are very tactile and sensuous, and yes - of course you just want to touch them. But as is the case with other art at the museum, it must be experienced with the eyes and not with the hands - so that the works do not get ruined.
At the family area in the cafe, however, you can sit down and try creating a micro sculpture of Silk Clay, similar to the works here at the museum. And afterwards perhaps go home and knit?