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Artists for the first Sápmi Triennale announced

4.3.2024 | Brave Hinterland, NEWS

For the first few months of Oulu’s European Capital of Culture year 2026, the Oulu Art Museum will be transformed into a museum of Sámi art. Combining contemporary Sámi art and duodji, traditional Sámi handicrafts, Sápmi Triennale will be one of the main attractions. The selection of artists for the trienniale has now been announced.

An open call for artists and artworks for the first travelling exhibition of the Sápmi Triennale was launched in autumn 2023. A total of 97 applications were received, with around 500 submissions. The selection includes works by 25 artists: duodji handicrafts, dáiddaduodji art, video, sound and installation art, photography, painting, textiles, ceramics and literature.

The artists selected into the programme are Anna-Stina Svakko, Charlotte Nielsen, Christin Løkke, Eiril Linge, Elina Waage Mikalsen, Eva Kitok, Geir Tore Holm & Søssa Jørgensen, Gjert Rognli, Gunvor Guttorm, Hanne Grieg Hermansen, Hans Ragnar Mathisen, Helena Lagerqvist Kuoljok, Helmi Aletta Hagelin, Inga-Wiktoria Påve, Inger Blix Kvammen, Jorunn Løkvold, Kirsi Paltto, Katarina Spik Skum, Maarit Magga, Matti Aikio, Monica Edmundson, Odd Marakatt Sivertsen, Reetta Tornensis, Susanne Ewerlöf and Tilde-Ristin Kuoljok.

The selection of artists was made jointly by the three artists on the board of the Sámi Centre for Contemporary Art (Sámi Dáiddaguovddáš SDG), the director of the Kiruna Art Museum, Maria Lind, and the curator of the Rovaniemi Art Museum, Ulla Viitanen.

The Sápmi Triennale, which will tour Sámiland, Finland, Sweden and Norway, is organised by Sámi Dáiddaguovddáš SDG (Kaarasjoki), Nordlandsmuseet & Bodø2024, Konstmuseet i Norr (Kiruna) and Rovaniemi Art Museum in cooperation with Oulu Art Museum and the Oulu2026 European Capital of Culture. The triennial will open in August 2024 in Bodø, Norway, one of this year’s European Capitals of Culture. The triennial will arrive in Oulu in January 2026.

Art increases knowledge

The Museum of Sámi Art, which will take over the Oulu Art Museum in the winter of 2026, is an extensive community-based project of the Oulu Cultural Foundation and its partners within the larger Oulu2026 culture programme. Planning began in 2022, and implementation is based on dialogue and joint effort between the museum and the Sámi people.

“This is one example of what we call cultural climate change,” says Aino Valovirta, Sámi culture producer of Oulu2026. “On one hand, we want to bring Sámi people together to enjoy a diverse cultural offering, and on the other hand, we want to increase cultural literacy and awareness of Sámi culture among the general population. We hope that both the exhibitions at the Oulu Art Museum and the Sámi programming in general will have a lasting impact.”

The traditions and the culture of the only indigenous people in the European Union will be showcased in a wide range of public events and activities throughout the European Capital of Culture year, and work is already underway to promote the events to a wide range of audiences. The first Dálvemánnu events in January and February 2024, coordinated by Oulu2026, attracted approximately five hundred visitors. The programme featured for example a community evening at the art museum and a Sámi National Day seminar and concert.

For further information and interviews, please contact:

Curator Selina Väliheikki, Oulu Art Museum
selina.valiheikki@ouka.fi, +358 44 703 7456

Sámi culture producer Aino Valovirta, Oulu2026
aino.valovirta@oulu2026.eu, +358 40 509 1867

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