Tone Vigeland: Flowing Shapes

She was born in Oslo to painter Per Vigeland and Randi Helleberg, and is a granddaughter of painter Emanuel Vigeland. She has studied at the Norwegian National Academy of Craft and Art Industry. She is represented in galleries worldwide, including the European Victoria and Albert Museum, Pinakothek der Moderne and Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, the New York City galleries Museum of Modern Art and Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. She was awarded the Prince Eugen Medal in 1988, and was decorated Commander of the Order of St. Olav in 1996. ‘The way I got the idea for the feather series was pure luck. A friend from Bergen came to me with a set of black iron nails. “I found that when I hammered them flat, they had a lovely character – almost like black feathers. So in this case, first I discovered the material, and then I found a design to suit it”.Silver has remained central to her jewellery, but typically left with a dark patination and frequently matched with a base metal such as steel. In this necklace blue-black steel panel pins have been transformed into soft feathery forms that are then attached to an underlying silver mesh. The necklace shows Vigeland’s ability to create harmonious sculptural pieces with extraordinary fluidity and wearability. Vigeland’s jewellery has often been compared with medieval chain mail or Viking art, she, however, draws her inspiration from the Norwegian landscape.With their flowing shapes Tone Vigeland’s pieces generally fit snugly despite being made of metal – steel, silver and gold. Through contact with the skin the metal regains its play with the light, and lent and dreamt of metallic color variations. Every piece becomes individualized through virtue of being worn. Though they stand out for their size and volume, the objects consist of an incredibly large number of tiny hand worked parts – minute pipes twisted from silver wire, precisely cut rectangular and round discs or tiny pellets and rings – so cleverly joined together as to be invisible to the naked eye. Tone Vigeland’s art on the body appears simultaneously modern and archaic.