Heidi Øiseth grew up in Oslo, Norway, and holds her education from Nydalen School for painting and Oslo School for painting and drawing. Her interest in fabrics and crafts derives from her mother’s family in Telemark, while both her father and grandfather were painters. Øiseth has – among others – worked with artists like Ståle Vold and Markus Brendmoe.
The works of Øiseth seems both hard and soft. Her drawn ”carpets” refer to the arts and crafts tradition and the processing of life that women through all time have performed by their thorough work. She draws on fragile textiles, lines of charcoal and pastel on unprepared canvas.
Øiseth has exhibited at numerous national venues, such as the annual Norwegian Autumn Exhibition, Østlandsutstillingen and the Drawing Biennial in Oslo. In addition she has exhibited at group shows such as the Platons Huskestue in the Norwegian Drawings Association, Østlandsutstillingen at LNM and in Germany at Museum St. Annan, Lybeck.
Heidi Øiseth´s works resembles tissues, carpets or fabrics. The tactility of the pictures present structures that reminds one of deposits and corrosion, something worn and attempted repaired.
Fabric, surface and tactility are something we surround ourselves with all the time. Fabrics creates memories, odors and feelings. They link us to the past, to secrets and untold stories. Øiseth looks upon the performance of work, and the time it takes, as an expression of the value of creating. To be close to yourself and by being so – also close to others. In a world where everything moves faster and faster, what is sensual will be more important. Meditation and tranquility, slowness and presence, what lasts and what´s cared for will be ever more important. We need stories, traditions and affinity to know who we are, to process our lives and not be invisible.
The carpets have emerged through an intuitive and thorough drawing process, which give evidence of slow work in a hasty time. They reflects the time it takes to make them, a time that gives room for reflection, proximity to emotions, understanding and self-understanding.
Behind the layers, you will maybe find the surface…
The actual action of creating the carpets becomes a channel for thoughts and feelings, what´s known and unknown. Øiseth´s works reflects melancholy, anxiety, and lack of power. Deep beneath the dense surface, and in the lines moving on the canvas, lines that counts of hours and days, there is written an anticipation of a state of hope.
The slow and time-consuming work requires calm and presence. The use of material is limited to unprepared canvas, ink, coal and pastel. Structures covers layers of soft ink and creates contrasts. Through lines and layers, a history book emerges that offers an opportunity to reflect upon memories and feelings. A space where the unknown and the known is interwoven.
In her works Øiseth wishes to illustrate women’s work on multiple arenas, by referring to the arts and crafts tradition, where women through all times have been sitting in the same way as she, working and meditating on their life. Øiseth is interested in the mental processes that occur in contemplative work and the thoughts and feelings that are processed through this. Her project seeks to express what´s floating under the surface, flowing across cultural boundaries, woven into women’s web of life worldwide. There are still many burdens to bear in the thousand homes. There are still many women who process their lives through household pursuits, persistent work and conversations.
The unspoken lies beneath the dense surface, motionless and vulnerable.