I first moved to Oslo, Norway in October 2012. It was six weeks before I was due to exhibit as part of a collaboration with Scottish Artist Louise McVey and at that point I had no idea what I was going to make for the show. I’d brought suitcases full of scraps of fabrics and threads with me and decided to collage them into little towers, just like the ones outside the window of my little studio.
Glasgow, my home town, is known for it’s rows and rows of almost identical sandstone tenements, and the pastel coloured buildings of Oslo were so different. Each one seemed to have it’s own particular windows, gates and doors and it’s own colour scheme. Instead of the huge curved bay windows of Glasgow’s tenements, they had rows of tiny little squares and rectangles.
These towers ended up being the first art works I made in Norway. They were made from fabrics I’d collected, salvaged and hoarded since my college years in London, and it seemed to make sense to use them up to make my first art work of my first impressions of my new life in Norway. I don’t usually use a sewing machine to make my sculptures but I like how scruffy and scratchy the stitching looks on these, it’s a good reflection of my state of mind at the time. I was surrounded by boxes, threads, fabrics and yarns in a tiny wee room looking out at all the blue and yellow and white buildings with their tiny windows, trying to take it all in and and get my head straight, desperately missing home but hoping that my new life was going to be as lovely as I hoped it would be.
I try to keep my posts on here for new work as and when it happens, but I’m working on some new little houses and these came to mind. If you’d like to keep up with the work as it’s in progress you can find me on Facebook here.
7 thoughts on “The Oslo in my head”
Your little houses are just wonderful, its winter here in New Zealand, the nights are dark, however this evening seeing your work has put the light on.
Aw thank you Susan, that’s so nice of you to say. 🙂
Just like little dream houses – makes you wonder who lives in them and what their lives are like!
These are lovely and so inspiring!
Thanks Evelyn 🙂
Hi 🙂 Lovely houses. I saw them on pinterest, so I had to take a closer look. After reading your comment about different windows, gates and doors -I just wanted to share something I overheard walking in Oslo about 20 years ago. It was a professor talking to a group of students. He said something like “that it was a famous architect “of that time” when they started to build bigger and higher houses that wanted the people not to feel they didn’t have their own identity (or was afraid they would feel kind of lost)”. So every floor was decorated different on the outside of the buildings. I had never noticed it myself growing up there, but those few seconds walking past that group made med look at both Oslo and other towns with different eyes 🙂 Appreciating and seeing the differences much more 🙂
I didn’t know that! I love that the buildings of Oslo have so much individual character. Thanks for sharing the story. 🙂