Our beloved glass blowing artist Geir Nustad conquered a special place at the Nationaal Glasmuseum, Netherlands, thanks to his remarkable talent. His solo exhibition, which is open until 9th April, is a tribute to his origin and culture through his glassworks.
The talented master artisan is from Tromso, in the north of Norway, and grew up intrinsically connected to nature. Breathtaking landscapes, hikes, fishing and an enviable peace of mind were part of the daily life in his childhood. Nature there is, undoubtfully, crucial to the people’s survival.
Tromso is the major city in the north of Norway and the heart of Sami, next to Sweden and Finland. Sami is the indigenous culture from that area. Geir’s exhibition raises the question: am I Sami, Norwegian or both?
His sculptural art pieces are his way to reflect upon his existence as a member of a culture. Bringing to us the mysterious and magic world of the Sami’s shamans, the artist combines his own techniques with ancient Sami’s traditional crafts, as duodji.
Some of the traditional Sami objects, as the wood carved cups, knives and the shaman’s drum Runebomme, were recreated by Geir using glass and are now exhibited in sculptural installations which allow us to travel back to ancient times.
Runebomme is essential to Sami’s culture and religion, while also telling the story of the Sami’s people oppression in Norway. In the 18th century, even owning a Runebomme was illegal, and all the practices related Sami were banned. Many objects were confiscated in Christian missions and children were even separated from their families to be “civilized” by the oppressors. Until 1975 it was not allowed to speak Sami in schools.
Geir wants this heartful exhibition to be the voice of those unheard, a memory of those forgotten that he feels are a deep and meaningful part of who he is. He hopes he can then raise awareness about the cruelties some civilizations commit when faced with a culture they do not understand.
Don’t miss your chance to visit his incredible exhibition and discover more about the precious, but almost lost Sami culture.
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