The Norwegian Association for Arts and Crafts theme exhibition 2016/17 is a curated exhibition organized by NK Northern Norway in cooperation with Northern Norway Art Museum. The exhibition displays Norwegian and Russian crafts, as well as works of indigenous people in the northern areas, and will be touring between art museums in Arkhangelsk, Murmansk, Tromsø and Karasjok.

I Craft, I Travel Light draws inspiration from indigenous people in the northern areas, their rich tradition, thorough knowledge and ability to use local resources. Artwork founded on natural materials from the Barents region and works from the various museum collections are used in different forms and implemented as site-specific objects.

As a part of the project NKNN will organize two practical workshops for professional artists, respectively in Arkhangelsk and Tromsø. Our intention is to create a basis for further knowledge exchange, networking and transcultural communication.

Crafts from northern areas both refers to traditions and a development and renewal of techniques and expression. In this project we want to draw attention to a rich aesthetic tradition, actualize and strengthen the identity of crafts and raise its status in the contemporary discourse. We wish to emphasize interpersonal meetings and preserving the cultural heritage; the so-called primitive crafts and tacit experiential knowledge.

I Craft, I Travel Light refers to a subjective understanding of crafts, as well as the association of the nomadic. The title enhances the value of local and sustainable resources, but also of a life in constant motion. What do we take with us when we travel, what values and expressions are maintained, handed over and further developed ? Is there room for deepening and tradition in the liquid modernity, characterized by globalization, rapid changes and a continuous flow of information?

The exhibition will contribute to the discourse concerning knowledge in northern areas, where the traditional way of life is being threatened by modern influences. Questioning ownership of areas and the way nomadic cultures relates to nation and borders are also part of this picture, in which the physical, political and economic conditions take part in defining what we bring into future, which cultures will be continued. The project thus becomes a platform for reflection for the general public as well as participating actors, an arena for free speech related to the questioning of way of life and sustainability in the northern areas.

Exhibition Program:

October 16, 2016 - November 20, 2016: The State Museum Association "Art Culture of the Russian North

February 10, 2017 - March 19, 2017: Murmansk Regional Art Museum

April 28, 2017 - October 8, 2017: Northern Norway Art Museum, Tromsø 

October 22, 2017 - December 3, 2017: Sami Center for Contemporary Art



October 12-15, 2016 Arkhangelsk Artist Union Gallery

April 28-30, 2017 Kysten Fylkeskultursenter, Tromsø



October 16, 2016: Museum of Art Development of the Arctic, 12 -15:30

  • Artist Talks by Solveig Ovanger, Gabriel Johann Kvendseth and Aleksander Sverchkov
  • Introduction to Nenets culture by Larisa Latisheva

February 10, 2017: Murmansk Regional Art Museum, 15 -17

  • Artist talks by Aslaug Juliussen and Cecilie Haaland

February 11. - 12, 2017: Kirkenes

  • Seminar in collaboration with Barents Press and Pikene på broen/ Barents Spektakel

April 29, 2017: Northern Norway Art Museum, Tromsø

  • 12:30- 13:30- Artist Talks by Gabriel Johann Kvendseth, Anisiya Taibarey and Martyn Taibarey. 

14:00- Family Workshop, inspired by the works of Gabriel Johann Kvendseth


The project is so far supported by BarentsKult, Arts Council Norway, Fritt Ord, Norwegian Association for Arts and Crafts, Northern Norwegian Association for Arts and Crafts and the Northern Norway Art Museum.