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Lecture by Britta Marakatt-Labba

7 December '17

A presentation by the artist and former member of the Mázejoavku: Sámi Dáiddajoavku (Sámi Artists’ Group) Britta Marakatt-Labba, with introductory words from Karin Hindsbo, Director of the National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design in Oslo. Marakatt-Labba was the recipient of the John Savio Prize 2017, given to a Sami artist as a recognition of his or her practice. The prize is allocated by The Relief Fund for Visual Artists (Bildende Kunstneres Hjelpefond), and organised in collaboration with Sámi Dáiddáčehpiid Searvi – SDS (Samisk kunstnerforbund / Sami Artists’ Union) and the Northern Norwegian Art Museum (Nordnorsk Kunstmuseum). The official ceremony for the presentation of the award was held at the Northern Norwegian Art Museum in Tromsø on 21 September 2017.

Britta Marakatt-Labba elucidated her storytelling process, built through embroidered images, a technique inherent to her Sami heritage, which allows her to ‘move easily’ and be mobile with the work she is doing at any given time.

Growing up with ‘duodji’ (Sami crafts), textiles constitute a common thread throughout Marakatt-Labba’s life, highlighting the artist’s refusal of the prejudices constructed against Sami culture. By conveying an image of the world she is part of, she provides an understanding of Sami culture and history with which to illuminate its future.

The numerous embroideries and other work that she has produced since the 1970s have highlighted nature, Sami living conditions, spiritual perspectives and mythology, fairy tales and sayings, as well as both political and everyday events. Today this entire belief system is under threat, as Sami and Indigenous peoples globally are the first to be menaced by the consequences of changes in climate and the environment due to the massive mining exploitation and industrialisation of nature. Britta Marakatt-Labba, who lives in one of these emblematic areas, will speak about her over forty-year commitment to these pressing issues.

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