Hanne Friis (b. 1972) is known for her monumental textile sculptures. The sculptures are shaped through a folding and sewing technique carried out by hand. Dense layers of folded fabrics transform the loose material into a compressed mass and sculptural form. The sculptural forms are abstract, with references to the body and nature.
In the exhibition Circulation, Friis shows a series of new works that relate both visually and thematically to Gustav Vigeland and the Vigeland Museum. The title Circulation joins a series of previous titles that deal with movement, circles, cycles, spirals and transformation. In this context, the title points to a movement in a closed form.
Friis has also previously exhibited in the Vigeland Museum. In connection with the Norwegian Sculpture Biennale 2013, she showed the work Portal executed in cotton canvas in various shades of white. Since then, she has worked with plant-dyed textiles in natural materials. In this exhibition, she challenges herself and the viewer by using synthetic materials such as latex, skai and vinyl – plastic materials which for many have negative connotations and which are often associated with something cheap and simple. The works are made with the rooms in which they will be exhibited in mind, and Friis relates to Vigeland by playing off materials and colours against his sculptures; either in that they resemble bronze, plaster and stone, or in that they function as a contrast to his sculptures, such as for example with the use of the colour cyan. She has also been inspired by some of his motifs – Black Circle gives associations to the Wheel of Life, and the sculpture Dance to Vigeland's many “man and woman” groups. Furthermore, La Vague is inspired by Vigeland's relief The Wave from 1897-98.
The exhibition is shown in rooms 7, 11, 12 and 13. It consists of sculptural objects and monumental installations. Some forms hang from the ceiling, others are placed on the floor. The way several of the works are presented gives associations to the workspace, and thus points to the process behind. Three concrete sculptures are also shown in the exhibition. The sculptures have been created by placing a hand-sewn object in wool in a casting box and pouring concrete over it. The wool fabric is then pulled out of the concrete. This leaves a void – a negative form of the fabric that has been removed.
The abstract forms in Hanne Friis's works have references to both bodily processes and the cycles of nature. She herself has stated that throughout her career she has worked with themes related to how we humans are connected to nature, and how we as nature are in constant change, which ultimately leads us to death. Life and death are connected. These are themes that are also central to Gustav Vigeland's art.