Site icon Johanna Flanagan

The Oslo in my head


Oslo Towers

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.


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