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Hildur Bjarnadóttir at Boise Art Museum
Hildur Bjarnadóttir, Tchotchke, 2003. Velvet pile embroidery on linen, 26” x 32” x 2”. Collection of the artist.
BOISE.-Boise Art Museum proudly features, in its ongoing Northwest Perspectives series twelve new and recent works by Portland artist Hildur Bjarnadóttir. A native of Iceland, Bjarnadóttir is internationally recognized for her contemporary interpretations of traditional craft forms such as weaving, needlework, and crochet. The fraught relationship between textiles and painting forms a central theme throughout her work, which questions traditional notions of “high” and “low” art, gender, and technique. Embodying both old and new, Bjarnadóttir’s artwork compels audiences to examine the ways in which cultural traditions continue to inform contemporary values and forms of artistic expression.

Hildur Bjarnadóttir stated, "When I was four years old my mother taught me how to knit, crochet and sew. I was raised immersed in a textile environment. My mother was a knitting and sewing teacher, and I would constantly be knitting or making crafts. On e thing my mother did not teach me was to follow patterns; everything I made she had me design myself. The line between art and craft is hazy, and is based on context as well as concept. In my art I explore this fine line between decorative, usable crafts and conceptual art. My work takes the focus from the usefulness and beauty that textiles are generally connected with and places it more on simple techniques and the inherent properties of the materials. I work with as well as against the materials and traditional textile rules."

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