Pernille Egeskov - Belonging

In the exhibition Belonging, artist Pernille Egeskov (b. 1970) explores this very concept. The subject is addressed from many different angles; how is the idea of ‘belonging’ associated with geography, nature, culture, your family, your partner, your body or your religion?

The question of belonging is an interesting and highly relevant topic today. In a world where moving – both physically and digitally – is so easy for many of us, and a world where so many sadly have to flee their homes, how do you feel that you belong somewhere? When do you feel at home?

The artist often finds the raw materials for her works in the homes of people from specially selected regions throughout the country. A certain fragility permeates much of Egeskov’s art as traces of lived life are found, selected, pursued, stored and embedded in textiles, paper and discarded objects that now form part of contexts very different from those originally intended.


A sense of belonging to Vendsyssel

In the autumn of 2019, the artist stayed at the Vendsyssel Museum of Art artist’s residence and studio, using it as her base for collecting the voices of the Vendelboers, the name used for the inhabitants of Vendsyssel.

The voices of the Vendelboers are incorporated at the exhibition Belonging. Selected locals of varying ages, some of them long-term residents of Vendsyssel, others relatively late arrivals, took part in interviews that incorporate reflections on which geographical locations the interviewees particularly associate with Vendsyssel and what it really means to be a Vendelbo. The participants include politicians such as the local mayor in Hjørring municipality, Arne Boelt.

Based on the Vendsyssel residents’ sense of identity and connection with their own region, a region separated from the rest of Jutland by the Limfjord to the south and by Tranum to the west, Egeskov provides physical prompts to audience members who in turn recognise a given texture from the strata of their own recollection.

Diverse considerations are unfolding through many different materials. Some are found objects, some are textiles imbued with specific significance, some are organic – such as when she uses human hair in her sewing.

Egeskov’s works do not reveal all their secrets at first glance. Rather, they contain a range of codes and characters that invite the viewer to construct a narrative. Her art often seems abstract, but nevertheless her works hide evocative narratives within, addressing existential subjects relevant to us all.

Reflecting her overall practice, Egeskov further unpacks the concept of belonging in the form of tangible, visual and physical works at the exhibition Belonging, elevating personal recollections to questions of great and general significance.

With poetic poignancy, the local transitions into a universal context in Egeskov’s art.


The project is supported by: The Danish Arts Foundation

The exhibition will be shown 18 January - 3 May 2020

Pernille Egeskov - Belonging