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Inger Blix Kvammen

Updated: Dec 3, 2023

Inger Blix Kvammen’s work deals with topics such as migration and cultural exchange across borders, particularly in the context of indigenous cultures in the Barents region. Her last three projects are a result of travelling to the Nenets Autonomous Ukrug in north-west Russia and to cities and villages in the South Caucasus, a border area between Turkey and Armenia.

Inger Blix Kvammen lives and works in the town of Kirkenes, in the county of Finnmark; a place at the heart of the Barents region and a border area nestled between Russia and Finland in the north-eastern most tip of Norway. As an artist, Inger Blix Kvammen is self-taught with an academic education as a foundation. Much of her studies in the artfield, involving specialized courses, comes from studies in the United States and England.

Her three latest projects, from the series MEMORY ARCHIVES, deal mostly with indigenous cultures — about meetings with different cultures and about migrations and cross-cultural exchanges. Impressions, that are traded in objects and photography, differentiate themselves by being stronger and more vivid than renderings or imagery of daily life and culture in different types of societies. Each work reproduces impressions that form compound stories. The sum of big and small events, experiences and meetings, along with everyday knowledge, becomes an important part of the exhibit’s didactics and content, where one can ask the big and existential questions: «Who am I?», «Why am I who I am?», «Where do I come from?», «Where am I going?».

In the project TUNDRA ARCHIVES, Blix Kvammen takes hold of and distinguishes the nomadic people’s nations in North-West Russia; The possibilities of this culture in the near future, their role as cultural bearers as well as women’s role in the continuation of cultural heritage and belonging, are issues that are affected. Some of the works have texts that become an important part of storytelling — as fragments or documentation of living lives.

Blix Kvammen has developed a unique method of using textile techniques such as crochet, weaving and metal embroidery that conceptually combines decorative shapes, like necklaces or bracelets, with stories and symbolic elements. Impressions of meetings with people and cultures are expressed with forms, basic material, craftsmanship and conceptual performance, and by combining and incorporating different materials and photography.

Blix Kvammen is a member of the Sami Artists’ Union (Samisk Kunstnerforbund), the Norwegian Association for Arts and Crafts (Norske Kunsthåndverkere) and the Association of Norwegian Visual Artists (Norske Billedkunstnere).

Over the years, Inger Blix Kvammen has held a number of central and regional positions in artists’ organisations and in arts and culture institutions nationally. In 1996, Blix Kvammen was one of the founders of the collective of producers and curators called Pikene på Broen who, in 2001, formed the cultural company behind the annual art festival, Barents Spektakel, along with the artist in residence program, BAR International. As of 2017, Pikene på Broen has established Terminal B; an exhibition, workshop and dialogue room in the centre of Kirkenes. Since 2001, Blix Kvammen has worked for Pikene på Broen in a part-time position as senior adviser.

For many years, Inger Blix Kvammen was represented by Electrum Gallery, London. She has had a number of exhibitions at home and abroad and received scholarships from, amongst others; the Arts Council Norway, Finnmark County and the Sami Artists’ Union. Her work has been acquired by the North Norwegian Art Museum, the Sami Parlament, Sami Collections, Arts Council Norway, the Sparebank Foundation and several other public and private bodies.

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