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Queen Sonja’s Sami art exhibition receives new works of art

It was in February that Her Majesty Queen Sonja of Norway opened a brand new exhibition in Queen Sonja Art Stable in Oslo. On Friday, another art piece was added to the ongoing show, and Royal Central’s Senior Europe Correspondent Oskar Aanmoen was invited to the preview.

It is the Sami artist Máret Ánne Sara’s art piece “Spirals of the Pile” which is the newest piece to go on display in Queen Sonja’s art gallery. Máret Ánne Sara is the youngest artist represented in the exhibition; she was born in 1983. She is a Norwegian-Sami artist, author and journalist, with an education from Sami University College in Kautokeino and the Art University in Bournemouth, England. Sara’s work will be shown in Queen Sonja’s Art Stable until August 25th.

One of the new installations is made of reindeer skulls. Photo: Oskar Aanmoen.

Máret Ánne Sara is a Sami artist who creates art with a clear political and social reference. Her upbringing in a reindeer herding family in Kautokeino has influenced her artistic expression, which is shown, among other things, by the use of reindeer shells. Sara has since 2016 been working on a creative and political resistance project, which refers to the family’s struggle against the Norwegian authorities for the right to maintain their traditional lifestyle as indigenous people.

The whole exhibition shows a total of 60 artistically works from Norway, Sweden and Finland. The art pieces are made from 1970 to today and include a total of 13 artists. Swedish-Sami Britta Marakatt-Labba’s “The story” (Historja) is a monumental tapestry, over 20 metres wide, where the artist has embroidered motifs from Sami history, society and way of life back to mythical times.

Her Majesty with Sami artists. Photo: Oskar Aanmoen / Royal Central.

Although many of the artists represented here refer to Sámi traditions or themes, most of them work within an international modernist or contemporary idiom.

The Sámi people are a Finno-Ugric people inhabiting large parts of Norway and Sweden, northern parts of Finland, and the Murmansk Oblast of Russia. The Sámi have historically been known in English as Lapps. Traditionally, the Sámi have pursued a variety of livelihoods, including coastal fishing, fur trapping, and sheep herding and as a semi-nomadic reindeer herding people.

“Queen Sonja’s Art Stable” was opened the summer of 2017 on Queen Sonja’s 80th birthday. This gallery is located in the old stable buildings in the Palace Park that have never been accessible to the public before. From now on, the building will be a new arena for art, culture and history in Oslo and is worth a visit by those in the city. It will contain various exhibitions.

About author

Senior Europe Correspondent Oskar Aanmoen has a master in military and political history of the Nordic countries. He has written six books on historical subjects and more than 1.500 articles for Royal Central. He has also interview both Serbian and Norwegian royals. Aanmoen is based in Oslo, Norway.