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Tirsdag-fredag: 12-17
Lørdag-søndag: 12-16
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Destination Damaskus

Britt Smelvær
Destination Damaskus

21 October - 21 November 2010

Britt Smelvær has in recent years worked with the ornament as a topic. A stay in Damascus in the period 2008-09 has thus formed the basis for her in-depth investigations within Islamic ornamental art, and its philosophical and historical traditions. In the exhibition at SOFT gallery she presents new works based on the experience and knowledge from her stay in Damascus.

One basic theme in the Islamic world view acknowledges a distinction between the material and the spiritual world. These two worlds and the relationship between them are illustrated as a layered section of life’s stages of maturation, and consists of five steps: Nasut, Malakut, Jabarut, Lahut and Huwa.

To visualize this order of layers the geometrical pattern derived from the decagon is used as an underlying system. The harmonious and symbolic pattern constitutes a basic iconography to convey the connection between, and understanding of, the earthly and the cosmic whole of Islamic philosophy.

The decagon pattern is a strong inspiration and basis in Smelvær’s latest work, creating a common pivot point in the reading of the works. Through various materials, such as window foil, fluorescent lamps, wood and paper, Smelvær has created two- and three-dimensional works that examines and discusses the Islamic ornamentation and its visual understanding.

Britt Smelvær (b.1945, Årdal, Norway) lives and works in Copenhagen, Denmark. Her long artistic career includes a wide range of techniques and medial expressions from textile to paper, two-dimensional works, objects, installations and landscape art. Smelvær has been a professor at Bergen National Academy of Arts (KHiB), 1993-97. She has held a number of solo exhibitions in Norway and abroad, i.e. Gallery F15, Norway, Bergen Art Association (Bergen Kunstforening), Norway, the Norwegian Embassy, Denmark, and Gallery Mortensen & Markman, Denmark. Smelvær has been responsible for numerous public art projects in Scandinavia. Her work is in the collections of the National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, The Norwegian Council for Cultural Affairs and West Norway Museum of Decorative Arts.

Supported by Danish Arts Council, Denmark

Press Contact: Janicke Iversen, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), +47 47 48 17 70

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