Inger Odgaard, a visual artist, was born in Thy in 1967.
She started early and could knit before she went to school. The tradition of knitting and using her hands has been her path into a independent artistic field, in which she has been continuously expanding after a period of painting. In 2016, she showed a series of knitting paintings and sculptures in several exhibitions. At Knitwork#16 in Copenhagen, she presented the installation Mormor in Guld, a tribute to the knitting, crocheting, and embroidering women in multiple generations who have passed on the textile craft. Since then her improvised knitting has taken off. Odgaard transposes the classic craft into artistic, freely worked objects. Her works are increasingly moving down from the wall and into space as figures, becoming increasingly independent individuals. The surfaces have changed from the raw textile expression of yarn to encased in layers of structure paste, layers of skin, as she says herself, where lacquer, color, and metals are used to give the works expression. The metals react to the color layers that crack. Earlier color layers penetrate from within, and in interaction with the form, an aesthetically new depth is added. There occurs a metaphysical individuation process and the works acquire their own inner life.
About her working process, the artist says:
- I see knitting as a material that I can work with further. At some point, it stops being just textile, but also structure with texture and transparency, shapes of threads that create signs and spaces. Shadows are cast and move. In a constant dialogue with the work, I take it somewhere else. There are some spaces that one cannot enter. One can only look into them, like a mirror of human existence.
Facts: Inger Odgaard is artistically educated from Kunstskolen Spektrum in Copenhagen in 2020, 2019, and 2017. She has a teacher education with a major in visual art and handiwork from Silkeborg Seminarium in 1995.
About the process
I am a sculptor, and my medium is textile. My sculptures are hand-knitted using various textile materials, knitted forms where the yarn and stitches create a transparency of threads and spaces.
The knitted skeleton is transformed through the addition of different materials and the addition of new layers. The final shape of the sculpture is formed in the interaction between the sculpture and the baths of materials it is dipped in. These baths transform the sculpture from a fragile and predictable-looking knit to a robust and abstract figure. The work is a long dialogue with each sculpture, a long process where I work on the sculpture's form. Each time a new material is added, the sculpture's appearance changes, and it alters the work's form and structure. the transparency of the sculpture changes, some holes in the knit are closed by the material, and others remain open. The transformation that takes place captivates me. The change from one thing to another. From one place to another. When some holes remain open and others are closed, it alters the sculpture's form and the shadow it creates. The space within the sculpture changes, and the view into the sculpture becomes different. All my works are spatial and transparent sculptures, consisting of holes, spaces, and in-betweens that allow the viewer to peer into and through my sculptures.
In recent years, I have been working on a series of works that I call "In Between Spaces". I have recently started working on another series of works called "New Skin" In these new works, the hard and the soft, the open and the closed meet.
I add crocheted textile forms to the hard sculptures and create transitions.