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Crafts Council

Galleri Format Oslo

Galleri Format Oslo was founded in 1991 and is a leading gallery for contemporary crafts in Norway.

The gallery exhibits professional artists working within the fields of ceramic, textile, metal, jewellery and glass. Working with both established and emerging artists, the gallery reflects the various tendencies in contemporary craft today.

Heidi Bjørgan Object 120, 2016 H33 x W14 x D12 cm, brown clay Photo: Thor Brødreskift

More than a century ago, the eccentric American potter George Ohr (1857–1918) claimed that he was “making pots for art’s sake, God’s sake, the future generations, and for my own satisfaction.” One of his goals was never to make two identical works. As a consequence, terms like perfect and uniform became meaningless. Ohr has had a decisive significance for Heidi Bjørgan (born Trondheim, 1970). Like Ohr she challenges the ideas of what a potter may be, by “deleting” all traces of acquired professional skills, inventing new techniques that create new effects. Her method is to do all the things that should in theory be impossible. The objects look as if though they have melted and imploded in the kiln, and the glazes are dynamic and expressive. Everything appears as an unlikely combination of a familiar, yet deformed utility article, with what many would call clay leftovers – if not trash – meandering about the main form.