Jen Pepper lived for one month in Kunstnarhuset Messen, and started up this project because of her fascination about water and topographic maps.
Pepper: “My project “How to wear a Hardangerfjord” is a collaborative project with three women from Alvik, Astrid Farestveit Selsvold, Camilla Gangal and Merete Salvesen Wallevik.
Much of the motivation behind my artistic projects has to do with translation and how forms are in constant ebb and flow. It’s natural to me to be attracted to water, and as a resident artist at KH Messen that is situated only a few steps from the Hardangerfjord was a perfect inspirational location for me to take up residence for the month of March.
In my art practice I make use of materials that are flexible in nature, often working with metals, rubber, and fibers, etc. My mother was a master knitter, and as a child I marveled at the way she could read knit code like a book, turning a long line of wool into a three dimensional form (a sweater).
As an artist I am also keenly interested in cartography and the process of map making, translations, if you will, of land and especially water bodies that are presented as finite illustrations, but in actuality are constantly shifting and changing. Nothing is ever permanent.
Transforming the shape of the Hardangerfjord into a fluid knit matrix of Norwegian knitting designs, is an additional layer of translation – allowing for a certain knit code to be read and interpreted through yarn which to me is similar to that of the act of seeing, drawing and interpreting the world around us.
My plan is to photograph and video different ways people might “wear the Hardangerfjord” as a performative object, in the location of Alvik; a shawl, a baby blanket, a tent, a cape, a hat, a hammock. To be “wrapped up” in the Hardangerfjord is my intention of this great waterway that has been, and remains to be, so vital culturally, ecologically and environmentally to the western part of Norway.
Working with the community members of Alvik has been a great treasure, personally and professionally, tethering me to knitting traditions, the people and many cultural histories of Alvik and Norway.”