Outi Pieski: Ruossalas Bálgát (2014). Photography by Outi Pieski.

The “Duddjot” exhibition (craft in Northern Sámi) focuses on Sámi culture and handicraft, also known as duodji. Craftsmanship has always been an essential part of the Sámi way of life, and it strongly intertwines with their everyday life and the surrounding nature.

The Sámi handicraft always has a functional purpose. The fabrication process requires a strong knowledge of the surrounding natural materials, and understanding of how to make use of them in the best possible way. Most of the materials employed are local and organic. The Duddjot exhibition presents works by several Sámi artisans, and it includes some more traditional crafts as well as some contemporary pieces by the younger generation. Among the works made by the young artisans, unconventional material choices, such as the combination of silver and birch roots, can be discovered. The youth is currently going through a new era of recognition and self-consciousness. They study the handicraft techniques, they wear gákti – the traditional Sámi clothing – and use other craft pieces.

Outi Pieski’s (b. 1973) installation “Ruossalas bálgát” (Crossing Paths, 2014) is presented at the main hall of the institute. The work is a three-dimensional drawing portraying the fell scenery that is important to Pieski, a visual artist with Sami origins. To the skimmed Rowan saplings gátki, i.e. fringes from the scarf of the Sami outfit, are knotted by using the technique of the traditional craft. The way the artwork is done, the ritual handcrafting, is an important part of the work’s meaning. The inspiration for the work comes from the journey and the encounters on the lands of the ancestresses.

The Duddjot exhibition is curated by Katja Hagelstam (gallery Lokal, Helsinki), and it is produced in collaboration with Sámi Duodji Association.

Exhibition opening on Thursday, 5th of September from 6.30 pm to 8.30 pm.