Let’s do art together!


Participation is a key concept in the contemporary art and culture scene. Both artists and cultural institutions are experimenting with the development of communication forms that involve and engage the audience in new ways. Museums, theatres and libraries seek to give people a voice and to promote their influence and co-creation.’ This quote comes from the book ‘Kunst, kultur og deltagelse’ (Art, culture and participation) by scholars Anne Scott Sørensen, Birgit Eriksson and Mette Houlberg Rung, published by Aarhus Universitetsforlag in 2019.
The press release announcing the book explains that ‘The focus has shifted from enlightenment to experience, from communication to engagement, from works to users.

Covid shutdown has accelerated the trend

On my radio the other day I heard the director of the exhibition venue Kunsthal Charlottenborg (Art Hall Charlottenborg), Michael Thouber, talk about the art hall’s special Covid initiative: instructions for works of art that people can make at home and subsequently photograph and share in an online gallery on Instagram. ‘Do it (home)’ was originally conceived by Hans Ulrich Obrist and produced by Independent Curators International (ICI) from New York in 1995 as a collection of instructions for do-it-yourself art that was presented in art venues around the world, including at the exhibition venue Nikolaj Kunsthal (Nikolaj Art Hall) in Copenhagen. In spring 2020, a new version of ‘Do it (home)’ was launched in response to the global Covid-19 pandemic, and now, Kunsthal Charlottenborg has launched the revised edition in Denmark. Follow the initiative here:

At the Trapholt museum for modern art and design


... the user-involving exhibition ‘Stitches Beyond Borders’, which was conceptualized and staged by Iben Høj, had been under preparation since long before the Covid-19 shutdown. The exhibition is Trapholt’s contribution to the events marking the centenary of South Jutland’s reunification with Denmark. It opened on 28 June 2020 and will still be on display when the shutdown is lifted, and the museum reopens. Judging by my latest visit to Trapholt in autumn last year to see ‘Stitches Beyond Borders’, the audience really enjoys and appreciates being involved in the creative process. They saw their own contributions being included and admired others’, and they took photos of themselves and each other in front of the works of art. Check out #grænseløsesting (the exhibition’s Danish title) on Instagram. It is a beautiful, touching, relevant and laudable exhibition, and apropos of price, the Danish Arts Foundation gave Iben Høj an award of DKK 50,000 for ‘Stitches Beyond Borders’. A unique and giant piece in fabric and thread containing 778 people’s personal reflections on borders and boundaries – physical as well as mental – as described in the Danish Arts Foundation’s motivation.

While ‘Stitches Beyond Borders’ was under preparation, the museum presented the exhibition ‘LIGHTHOPE’, a light in the darkness brought about by the Covid-19 shutdown. The idea for ‘LIGHTHOPE’ sprang from a desire to make a positive contribution during the Covid crisis based on what the museum stands for: creativity, insights and a sense of community centred on art and design. The exhibition was staged by the textile artist Hanne G and cabinetmaker Rasmus Bækkel Fex and involved 987 people from all over Denmark who crocheted luminous bulbs for a huge installation. ‘LIGHTHOPE’ opened on 29 May 2020.

’SENIORNOTATER – Midt i en covid-tid’ (SENIOR NOTES – Living in a time of Covid) opened on 18 December 2020 and, as indicated by the name, was also created during the shutdown. The museum invited five visual artists – Emily Gernild, Christian Schmidt-Rasmussen, Fie Norsker, Maria Torp and Mie Olise Kjærgaard – and five senior clubs in the cities of Kolding, Odense, Frederiksberg and Høje Tåstrup to establish a community and express the consequences of life during the pandemic in words and form.

It all began in 2015 ... (and we’re still talking about Trapholt) when the designer/textile artist Isabel Berglund created ‘Monument of Stitches’ together with 700 knitting enthusiasts from the so-called Triangle Region in south-eastern Jutland. The piece was created in a baton-race format where people met in workshops to knit, as the collaborative piece travelled from city to city.

In 2019, on behalf of Trapholt, designer Rasmus Bækkel Fex invited all wood turners in Denmark to take part in a large art project titled ‘TINGSTED’ (Thingstead). Hundreds of wood turners contributed with unique turned components, thus adding their bit to the larger collaborative story.

Now a new project invites your personal contribution


‘Close to Trees’ is a large-scale art installation in the form of a man-made tangible forest that people will be able to enter and explore. The many leaves on the trees will be created as patchwork elements by the project participants. Each participant is to contribute one patchwork block with a leaf image.
The patchwork project is planned and supervised by designer/textile artist Tina Ratzer.
Tina has a long and in-depth relationship with patchwork. For many years, she has been using patchwork in a variety of ways in works where each patch is like a pixel. She also has experience with user involvement.
I spoke with her as she was preparing the brief that will be released on 30 January, when the virtual start-up workshop is held as a Zoom event. She is looking forward to the date and speaks passionately about traditional communities of women, where everyone contributes to the large common piece, about the premise of patchwork, which is to use what is at hand, and about the balance between maintaining artistic direction and giving the contributors sufficient freedom of expression.
The latter is addressed by preparing and providing a detailed brief. Each field should be either 2 x 2 or 4 x 4 cm. The colour scale is pre-determined, and if the participants do not have material available in the right colours, or if they wish to raise the bar, they can take part in an online workshop where they can learn to dye their own textiles using plant-based dye.

In the press release, Trapholt writes:


The Covid crisis will pass – the climate crisis persists. The project ‘Close to Trees’ under Tina Ratzer’s leadership is inspired by the growing interest in nature among Danes during the pandemic and people’s need for new communities. The project addresses our love of nature and the need to protect the climate. The hope is that the closer we get to nature, the better we will look after it.
The project includes a number of public events. Tina Ratzer will open up her studio for workshops on patchwork and textile dyeing with vegetable dye and organize other online initiatives.
Nature guides from the Triangle Region arrange virtual nature walks. Depending on Covid restrictions, Trapholt also hopes to organize face-to-face meetings for the participants in collaboration with librarians, nature guides and creative partners in the Triangle Region.

You can sign up to join the project on Trapholt’s website:

The project involves collaborations with local craft associations throughout Denmark and with the 50 local chapters of Dansk Patchwork Forening (Danish Patchwork Society).

Have a great time if you choose to contribute – I am already looking forward to seeing the finished result.



Skal vi lave kunst sammen? - PÅ DANSK

”Deltagelse er et nøgleord i samtidens kunst- og kulturliv. Både kunstnere og kulturinstitutioner eksperimenterer med at udvikle kommunikationsformer, der inddrager publikum på nye måder. Museer, teatre og biblioteker arbejder med at lade borgerne komme til orde og styrke deres medbestemmelse og medskabelse”. Citatet er fra bogen ”Kunst, kultur og deltagelse” af forskerne Anne Scott Sørensen, Birgit Eriksson & Mette Houlberg Rung udgivet på Århus Universitetsforlag i 2019.
I pressemeddelelsen om bogen står der:”Fokus er drejet fra oplysning til oplevelse, fra formidling til involvering, fra værker til brugere”.

Coronanedlukningen har sat fart på den udvikling

I min radio forleden talte direktør for Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Michael Thouber, om kunsthallens Corona
Satsning: Instruktioner til kunstværker som man selv kan lave hjemme og efterfølgende fotografere og dele i et onlinegalleri på Instagram. ’do it (home)’ blev først udtænkt af Hans Ulrich Obrist og produceret af Independent Curators International (ICI) fra New York i 1995 som en samling instruktioner af gør det selv kunst, der blev vist på kunstinstitutioner over hele verden, bl.a. på Nikolaj Kunsthal i København. I foråret 2020 blev der som reaktion på den globale Covid-19 pandemi lanceret en ny version af ’do it (home)’, som Kunsthal Charlottenborg nu lancerer i Danmark. Se med her

På Trapholt


-var den brugerinddragende udstilling ”Grænseløse Sting”, ideudviklet og iscenesat af Iben Høj, under forberedelse længe inden Coronanedlukningen. Udstillingen er Trapholts bidrag til 100 året for Grænselandets forening. Den åbnede 28. juni 2020 og kan stadig ses (når museet forhåbentlig snart genåbner). At dømme efter mit seneste besøg på Trapholt i efteråret for at se ”Grænseløse Sting”, så spreder det stor glæde blandt museumsgæsterne at være inddraget i fremstillingsprocessen. Gæsterne genså egne bidrag og beundrede andres, og de tog billeder af sig selv og hinanden foran kunstværkerne, tjek #grænseløsesting på Instagram. Det er en smuk, rørende, vedkommende og prisværdig udstilling og apropos pris, så blev Iben Høj af Statens Kunstfond præmieret med 50.000 kr. for værket ’Grænseløse sting´. Et mageløst og gigantisk værk i stof og tråd, som rummer 778 borgeres personlige refleksioner over grænser - fysiske som mentale, lød det i motivationen.

Mens forberedelserne til denne udstilling foregik, kilede museet udstillingen ”LIGHTHOPE” ind, som et lys i det mørke Coronanedlukningen efterlod. Ideen til ”LIGHTHOPE” opstod ud fra et ønske om at bidrage positivt under coronakrisen med det, som museet står for – kreativitet, erkendelser og fællesskaber omkring kunst og design. Udstillingen blev iscenesat af tekstilkunstner Hanne G og møbelkunsthåndværker Rasmus Bækkel Fex og involverede 987 borgere fra hele Danmark, som hæklede lysende pærer til en kæmpe installation. ”LIGHTHOPE” åbnede 29. maj 2020.

”SENIORNOTATER - Midt i en covid-tid” åbnede 18. december 2020 og blev, som navnet indikerer, også til under nedlukningen. Museet havde inviteret fem billedkunstnere: Emily Gernild, Christian Schmidt-Rasmussen, Fie Norsker, Maria Torp og Mie Olise Kjærgaard og fem seniorklubber i Kolding, Odense, Frederiksberg og Høje Tåstrup til at indgå i et fællesskab om at sætte ord og form på covid-tidens konsekvenser.

Det begyndte med… og vi taler stadig om Trapholt, at designer/tekstilkunstner Isabel Berglund i 2015 skabte værket ”Maskernes Monument” sammen med 700 strikkende borgere fra Trekantsområdet. Værket er skabt som en stafet på tværs af byerne på workshops, hvor borgerne strikkede til hinanden fra by til by.

I 2019 inviterede designer Rasmus Bækkel Fex sammen med Trapholt alle trædrejere i Danamark med i et stort kunstnerisk projekt kaldet ”TINGSTED”. Flere hundrede trædrejere bidrog med hver deres unikke drejede del og var dermed en del af en stor samlet fortælling.

Nu er der igen mulighed for at bidrage

Til kunstværket ”Tæt på Træer”, som bliver en kæmpe kunstinstallation i form af en kunstig skov, som man kan gå ind i og opholde sig i. Skovens mange blade skal sys i patchwork af projektets deltagere. Hver deltager bidrager med en patchworkblok, hvor motivet er et blad.
Patchworkprojektet forberedes og ledes af designer/tekstilkunstner Tina Ratzer.
Tina har en lang og dyb relation til patchwork og har på forskellig vis brugt patchwork i sine værker gennem mange år. Værker hvor hvert felt er som en pixel. Hun har også erfaring med borgerinddragelse.
Jeg talte med hende, da hun var i færd med at forberede det brief, som sendes ud 30. januar, hvor den virtuelle opstartsworkshop finder sted på zoom. Hun glæder sig og talte sig hurtigt varm om traditionelle kvindefællesskaber, hvor alle bidrager til det store fælles værk, om præmissen for patchwork som er, at man bruger, hvad man har, og om balancen mellem at styre kunstnerisk og at give frihed til bidragsyderne.
Sidstnævnte er løst med et gennemarbejdet oplæg. Alle felter skal være enten 2 x 2 eller 4 x 4 cm. Farvekortet ligger fast, og har man ikke på lager, eller vil man gribe en yderligere udfordring, så er der mulighed for at deltage i en on-live workshop, hvor man lærer at plantefarve sine egne tekstiler.

Trapholt skriver i deres pressemeddelelse blandt andet:

Coronakrisen forgår – klimakrisen består. Projektet 'Tæt på træer' under ledelse af Tina Ratzer tager afsæt i danskernes stigende interesse for naturen under coronakrisen og behovet for nye fællesskaber. Projektet tematiserer kærligheden til naturen og behovet for at passe på klimaet. Håbet er, at jo tættere vi kommer på naturen, jo mere vil vi passe på den.
I løbet af projektet vil der være forskellige arrangementer, deltagerne kan deltage i. Tina Ratzer inviterer hjem i sit studie til patchwork- og plantefarvningsworkshops og andre online tiltag.
Trekantområdets Naturvejledere inviterer på virtuelle naturvandringer. Afhængigt af coronarestriktionerne vil Trapholt i løbet af foråret også arrangere fysiske møder i samarbejde med Trekantområdets biblioteker, naturvejledere og kreative partnere, hvor deltagere kan mødes.

På Trapholts hjemmeside kan man tilmelde sig projektet her: https://trapholt.dk/taet-paa-traeer/

Projektet kan følges på Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/402483804159031

Der er etableret samarbejde med lokale håndarbejdeforeninger i hele landet og med Dansk Patchworkforenings 50 lokalforeninger i Danmark.

Rigtig god fornøjelse til dig hvis du vil bidrage, jeg glæder mig allerede til at opleve det færdige værk.