The vivid and evocative art of Britta Marakatt-Labba is storytelling unlike any other. Using motifs from Sami history and mythology, she breaks down conventions and stereotypes on Sami art, culture and identity. And that is why she's the first artist we present in the Artist room in our collection exhibition.
The oeuvre of Marakatt-Labba is one of storytelling. For almost 40 years, she has made Sami history, everyday life and mythology come to life, inspired by her upbringing in a Swedish reindeer farmer family. Her medium has primarily been embroidery, depicting everything from dramatic revolts, fires, births and children playing, all with a unique mix of elegance, richness and an almost naïve expression.
Marakatt-Labba won the Savio Award in October 2017, and it was only natural for us to honour her with being the first artist presented in our new Artist room. She was represented with the 24-meter long tapestry History at the prestigious Documenta 14 in Kassel, Germany in 2017. The artwork is usually displayed at The Arctic University in Tromsø.
An active mentor
Marakatt-Labba is a force both in the artistic community and in the work for a better understanding of Sami issues. She lifts questions of ecology, politics and historical events higher, and her works create an interesting dialogue between past and present, and between duodji (craft) and dáidda (art).
Guerilla embroidery in the exhibition
In addition to Marakatt-Labba's art, the exhibition contains an embroidery table, where we encourage everyone to do some (guerilla) embroidery themselves. This has proven really popular among our visitors.
For this exhibition, we have loaned several works from The Arctic University of Tromsø and the artist herself.