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Nordic by Nature: modern design and prints

12th November 2019

Photograph of Nordic by Nature: modern design and prints

British Museum touring exhibition comes to Thurso Gallery.

High Life Highland are delighted to be working in partnership with the British Museum to bring an exhibition of Nordic Craft to the Thurso Gallery in Caithness.

A British Museum touring exhibition Nordic by nature: modern design and prints is the first time that the British Museum have bought an exhibition to Thurso and it opens on Saturday 16th November, running until Saturday 1st February 2020.

Artists and designers have long been inspired by the varied and dramatic landscapes of the Nordic countries, the exhibition explores how nature and landscape is at the heart of Finnish, Swedish, Danish and Norwegian art and design.

Natural spectacles, from the bewitching aurora borealis to the white nights of the frozen north, as well as local materials like birch wood, have contributed to a distinctly Nordic aesthetic.

Nordic by nature: modern design and prints uses the British Museum's collection to look at how Finnish, Swedish, Danish and Norwegian artists and designers have created distinctive objects and imagery that are rooted in the culture, traditions and industries of those nations and often embody national pride.

44 remarkable British Museum objects and works on paper will illustrate how these artists and designers have been drawn to common themes. Exhibition highlights include pioneering pieces by one of the leading figures in Finnish design, glassmaker Tapio Wirkkala (1915-1985), which resemble melting, cracked or carved ice and are shown against prints of stark icy landscapes.

Cathy Shankland Exhibitions Officer for High Life Highland said:

"I am absolutely delighted that our partnership with the British Museum is bringing this wonderful collection to Thurso Gallery for the first time. Caithness is no stranger to the aurora borealis in real time and I am sure the exhibition will strike a chord with locals and visitors alike"

Visitors will also see examples by Finnish basket maker, Markku Kosonen (1945- 2010). These works in birch bark brilliantly adapt traditional forms to create modern works of art and are displayed alongside traditional plaited birch bark bags, still made today as expressions of cultural and national identity.

Additionally, the exhibition brings together a range of Swedish prints, ceramics, and glass works from Småland, which is known as the Kingdom of Crystal. On display will be experimental and minimalist works from Denmark, including Erik Magnussen's (1940-2014) revolutionary table wares of the 1960s and Per Kirkeby's (1938-2018) light-hearted print, Telephone rings (1964).

With the support of the Dorset Foundation in memory of Harry M Weinrebe, the Thurso Gallery is one of only 4 UK venues which the exhibition will travel to from May 2019 to May 2020: Weston Park Museum, Sheffield; Old Gala House, Galashiels; Thurso Gallery, Thurso; and Kirkleatham Museum, Redcar.

The exhibition will be on display at Thurso Gallery from Saturday 16 November 2019 until Saturday 1 February 2020.

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