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Nuances in Blue and Black © Øystein Thorvaldsen-HOK
Nuances in blue and black was made by the Norwegian textile artist Hanne Friis.
This monumental structure of several meters long and large is the result of a tremendous amount of work and infinite patience : in total, several hundred of jeans were sewn together by hand with a needle and nylon thread.
The fabric of each jeans is folded and sewn to the others thanks to a specific technique which produces an organic and undulating structure : Hanne Friis transforms loose fabric into a compact, robust mass.
From a distance, it is difficult to see what the sculpture is made of, but under closer inspection, you can see the thousands of tight, small pleats of denim squeezed together, creating swirls of blue and black hues.
Nuances in blue and black was made for the exhibition Vi lever på en stjerne (We Are Living on a Star) at Henie Onstad Kunstsenter in 2014. The exhibition addressed the public debate in Norwegian society after the 2011 terrorist attack in which 76 persons were killed, among whom 68 were young people attending a political youth summer camp for the Norwegian Labour Party. The jeans are second-hand, they were collected in a recycling station and therefore create a strong association with the young people who lost their lives : denim is familiar to all, mostly to young generations, and a quintessentially contemporary symbol.
To Hanne Friis, the blue colours represent spiritual dimensions, hope and humanism, whereas the dark nuances stand for the destructive powers within us.
Nuances in blue and black will be exhibited under the glass dome of the Grand Palais from May 22nd to May 26th 2019.