At the core of Maia Birkeland’s (b. 1978, Førde) art practice is the material. She explores and investigates different materials, and is interested in how each material, with its specific qualities, can convey a theme or substantiate a story. She works in particular with textiles, plants, everyday materials and found objects.
The constant, mutual influence between man – man, place – man and man – place constitutes the thematic baseline. The works take the form of installation, sculpture, wall pieces, and intervention. If possible, she works spatially and site-specific.
Investigations and experiences related to a specific place or theme form the basis of the work. They are developed and created in an open process, where walks, gathering, arranging and physical contact with the materials generate ideas and lead the work forward. With text and conversations as tools, these “hidden” aspects of the artwork are also examined.
Maia Birkeland has studied at the Art Academy in Oslo, Glasgow School of Art. She received her MFA in “Medium- and material based art “ from Khio in 2015.
Oslo Academy of the Arts and the Glasgow School of Art, with a master’s degree in Medium- and material-based art from Khio in 2015. After 17 years in Oslo, she has now moved back to Western Norway.
Birkeland has exhibited at Galleri Format Oslo, Hordaland Kunstsenter, Osterøy Museum, Sunnfjord Museum, Sogn og Fjordane Art museum, Trafo Kunsthall Asker, Årsutstillingen – the annual exhibition 2015, and Galleri F15 Moss and more. She has also been a festival artist at Førde International Folk Music Festival in 2017, and received several scholarships, including working scholarships from Statens Kunstnerstipend (2021-22 and 2018-20) and Billedkunstnernes Vederlagsfond in 2017. Birkelands work is in the collection of Sogn og Fjordane Art museum.
During her residency in S12, Birkeland experimented with, among other things, ways of reusing glass. To S12 Birkeland brought empty beer and wine bottles she had collected. These became the start of her research. She also experimented with blowing into home-made copper cages that she had “knitted” from copper string, and made imprints and castings of plants, bark and stone etc. Some of the experiments she has made during her residency will be included in an installation, in combination with other materials such as textiles, found objects and plants / organic material, but also self-produced paper as part of an upcoming exhibition at “Den Grønne Fabrikken” in Galleri Mjøsvågen the summer of 2022.