Ended exhibition

Norske Kunsthåndverkeres Temautstilling 2022: The Hands That Unravel the Sweater

Thuts eflux2
Graphic identity created by William Jokijärvi Andersson and Oskar Laurin.
  • Place Nordnorsk kunstnersenter, Svolvær
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The Hands That Unravel the Sweater is curated by Anne Klontz for The Norwegian Association of Arts and Crafts and The North Norwegian Arts Centre. The exhibition is open from 18 June –14 August 2022 at The North Norwegian Arts Centre in Svolvær, Lofoten. Graphic identity created by William Jokijärvi Andersson and Oskar Laurin.

The Hands That Unravel the Sweater is not just an exhibition, it is a statement, a conversation and a reflection about the times we are living in. It is commentary on the social realm, norms and the patterns of inequalities that have been woven together through colonialism, discrimination and power structures. Woven into this context are ten artists and collectives whose practices define contemporary realities and bring attention to the ways in which these complex issues have existed, and still remain, in society—in our institutions, in the media, in our communities and in our thoughts.

Participating artists include Ahmed Umar, Boom! Glass Group, Elisabeth Haarr, Erika Stöckel, Faith Ringgold, Hannah Ryggen, Hannah Ryggen Army, Karen Kviltu Lidal, matt lambert and Matt J. Smith. They are motivated by personal experiences, as well as experiences from the world around them relating to national and international events but also the cultural and historical. Their practices are framed through various craft-based materials such as ceramics, glass, jewelry, metal, textile and wood. United through advocacy, making, traditions and collective empowerment their concerns and knowledge is shared, thus contributing to new definitions, new skills and new ways of looking at the world.

The exhibition will pair together the artists’ works in five duets in order to create intimate moments between the works and conversations between the artists. The exhibition is inspired by the idea to pair Swedish-Norwegian artist Hannah Ryggen—who took politically and emotionally charged media images and stories from around the world and translated them to woven tapestries—with Faith Ringgold, an African American artist well known for her story quilts and her practice through which she advocates for people of color and takes racist and socially unjust narratives and rewrites them. Both artists engage in the visual and the emotional, but the purpose of the duet is not about comparing or contrasting the aesthetics or material processes, rather it is about encouraging ways to share experiences and ideas behind the works with audiences and to encourage ways to consider how these issues in society can—and should be—challenged.

Visuell identitet av William Jokijärvi Andersson og Oskar Laurin.
Graphic identity created by William Jokijärvi Andersson and Oskar Laurin.

Anne Klontz (USA / Sweden) is curator and divides her time as exhibition director at Konstfack University of Arts, Crafts and Design and as head of program at Index The Swedish Contemporary Art Foundation. In 2021, she curated and produced Konstfack's annual graduation exhibition, which included 175 graduating students.

During 2020, she curated the group exhibition "2084" at Kabelfabrikken, a collaboration with Catalysti Transcultural Artists in Finland. Klontz was assistant curator for Momentum10, "The Emotional Exhibition" in Moss, Norway, where she was recognized as one of 19 women who define the Scandinavian art scene. Upcoming curatorial projects include the Tallinn Biennial 2023.

Anne Klontz is originally from Seattle, Washington and holds a dual master's degree in International Curating Management and Culture and Media Production.

About the partners


The Norwegian Association of Arts and Crafts work to strengthen the work of artisans and make contemporary handicrafts visible nationally and internationally. They produce the Theme Exhibition and other dissemination projects, publish the magazine Kunsthåndverk, nominate for state scholarship schemes and conduct political advocacy work.

The North Norwegian Art Center is an international art center that plays an important role for contemporary art in northern Norway. Nordnorsk kunstnersenter (NNKS) was established in 1979 by the artists in the region. NNKS is a key player in the region's art life, as the initiator of projects, producer, communicator and organizer.

The exhibition is supported by the Norwegian Cultural Council.

Logo NNKS og NK

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Video: The Norwegian Association of Arts and Crafts' Theme exhibition: The Hands That Unravel the Sweater
The Hands That Unravel the Sweater is curated by Anne Klontz for The Norwegian Association of Arts and Crafts and The North Norwegian Arts Centre. The exhibition was open from 18 June –14 August 2022 at The North Norwegian Arts Centre in Svolvær, Lofoten. Participating artists include Ahmed Umar, Boom! Glass Group, Elisabeth Haarr, Erika Stöckel, Faith Ringgold, Hannah Ryggen, Hannah Ryggen Army, Karen Kviltu Lidal, matt lambert and Matt J. Smith.
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