Our Inner Beasts
An installation by Inghild Karlsen
Installation shot: Christian Tunge / Henie Onstad Kunstsenter
Inghild Karlsen (b. 1952) is an artist who has made a strong mark on the Norwegian art scene since the 1970s.
Originally from Tromsø, she studied at the Norwegian School of Arts and Crafts, the Western Norway Academy of Arts in Bergen, and the Stockholm Academy of the Arts. At the beginning of her career, Karlsen worked mainly with materials such as wool, felt, and silk. Eventually, she expanded her practice to other media and disciplines such as photography, video, performance, and scenography.
Karlsen’s art operates in the tension between craft and pure aesthetics, with a special focus on northern Norwegian culture in dialogue with contemporary art. In Our Inner Beasts, Karlsen has gone back to her signature material, felt. A technique she learned from her grandmother. Pressing wool with soap and warm water, Karlsen has felted wool and thus continued the northern cultural tradition, drawing attention to nature. The work consists of sixty-three felt bodies, some more human and others more animalistic in appearance. The felt beasts hang alone, but also in kin with others in the room.