INGER BLIX KVAMMEN at ELECTRUM 4.-26. September 1998
From the Exhibition catalogue:

Inger Blix Kvammens jewellery is a perfect example of a certain classic creative freedom for design seldom found in traditionally trained ”jewellers” work. Here is someone who had the ideas first and then looked for the technical solutions in order to give them form and substance. Apart from a short spell in the Oslo workshop of a goldsmith, to accuire the basiv rudiments of the craft, she is virtually self- taught. Now this in itself is not that unique, it is something she shares to some extent with other notable exponents of textile techniques with metals, and indeed other highly successful artist/jewellers per se. And like them, her work clearly demonstrates the some-time advantages of coming, as it were, from the ”outside”, with its fresh approach and exciting shapes.

She began in the 1980-ties by working with soft fabrics, from which she attempted to make necklaces, but soon found gold, silver and copper wire far more suitable materials. She has come a long way since then, gaining confidence and perfecting her skills. Her earlier training in art, its history and as a teacher, have undoubtedly helped. She has her early passion for knitting, weaving and sewing- but most of all, it is her inventive mind and capable hands, which are responsible for her success.

Inger Blix Kvammen grew up and still lives in the north-eastern corner of Norway, in a small mining town, an area steeped in Norwegian folklore, mythology and traditional needlework, a background that has been a rich source of inspiration to her. An intriguing aspect of her work is the way she likes to add small natural elements, like the feathers of wood grouse, which symbolise virility and happiness, while hairs from fox, horse or particularly bear (bears still freely roam her region) convey physical strenght, wisdom and patience. Her wonderful collection of jewellery, created with the loving care and attention to detail, often contains such reference to Norwegian mythology, without detracting from its totally contemporary context.

The bold structures of her crochet bracelets and large collars fit easily round the wrist or neck like floating sculptures. Her woven chokers, earrings and brooches, are light yet strong, elegant and easy to wear, stunning to look at, very different and special.

Barbara Cartlidge

Director