The largest tapestry in Norway
Den røde strek (The Red Line) is the title of the tapestry in the Science Building, and the name is apt. Move as you may, you can never see this artwork by Else Marie Jakobsen in its entirety. Pieces of textile wind through two floors, across two wall sections, and are partially hidden by a sloping ramp that leads up to the upper floors.
In some places, the rough fibers of the warp threads are laid open, and the work is revealed as what it is: a woven tapestry. The threads are weighed down by small stones dangling near the ground. They mirror the subject of John Audun Hauge’s Utvikling II (Development II), a boat with a large stone in it, which is located nearby.
The thread tells its own story. Several textile artists have had their names written into the tapestry, most of them with initials: EJ (Elise Jakhelln), BF (Brit Fuglevaag), US (Unn Sønju), IS (Ingunn Skogholt), KH (Kjellaug Hølaas), NG (Nina Gjestland), EMJ (Eli Marie Johnsen), KS (Karin Sundbye), SK (Sidsel Karlsen), BC (Bodil Cappelen), TP (Tove Pedersen), IJB (Inger Johanne Brautaset, ), EN (Eli Nordbø), HR (Hanna Ryggen), Synnøve Anker Aurdal and Else Marie Jakobsen. The Red Thread is a tribute to the loom, and to female artists in Norway. It depicts people, flowers, trees and animals, with stylistic references to individual artists and historical periods.
With its 90 m2 the piece is the largest tapestry in Norway. It is one of Jakobsen's major works. The Red Thread has a beneficial effect on the monumental architecture of the Science building. The walls of red stone, glass and steel gain a warm glow from the vibrant hues of the tapestry.
Else Marie Jakobsen (1927-) is one of Norway’s most acclaimed textile artists. She has decorated a number of churches and institutions, and several major institutions have purchased her pieces. In addition to her artistic activity, Jakobsen has worked as a designer and textile manufacturer, and has won several design competitions. She has also been politically active.
NORA SØRENSEN VAAGE & SIRI MEYER