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Zea Mays
Samantha Albert, Freja Burgess, Helen Hausland, Nellie Jonsson,
Patricia Risopatron Berg,

January 20 – February 19 

The exhibition is extended to February 26. - Utsillingen utvides til 26. februar.

Opening Thursday January 20, 6-8pm

Due to Covid-19 restrictions there will be a maximun of 30 visitors allowed in the gallery at the same time. Masks are required.

Noun. 1. Zea mays - tall annual cereal grass bearing kernels on large ears: widely cultivated in America in many varieties; the principal cereal in Mexico and Central and South America since pre-Columbian times. corn, Indian corn, maize. edible corn, corn - ears of corn that can be prepared and served for human food.


The exhibition Zea Mays is a collaborative project between five contemporary craft artists recently graduated from KhiO. Working within different media they developed the works for the exhibition in dialogue with each other in a collective effort to explore camaraderie as a creative foundation. The title of the exhibition refers to the common corn plant and can be understood as a metaphor for a global problem that is increasingly difficult to solve – food shortage and the environmental disasters that are caused by large-scale agroindustry.


16th century Europe faced similar problems. Lack of cultivation areas and diseased crops resulted in constant bouts of famine and demographic chaos as people constantly had to move in search of food and better opportunities. The solution was thought to be found in the new miraculous produce discovered in America, notably potatoes and corn.


Today we face similar challenges, although science is less occupied with finding new sources of food than perfecting already existing ones through genetic modification. This, on the other hand, is causing new ecological threats as well as unforeseen health problems in both the human population and livestock.


Zea Mays reflects on food culture, cultivation and human collaboration from an artistic view point that includes a wide range of media and techniques, such as ceramic, textile and graphics. The exhibition is collectively curated by the artist’s themselves.

An artist book was made in connection with the exhibition and is available for downloading digitally HERE.

Samantha Albert’s (b. 1984, USA) approach is driven by material processes and matter: from the minerals beneath our feet and the objects we surround ourselves with, to the stuff of the cosmos. She graduated from the Oslo National Academy of the Arts with an MFA in Medium and Material-based Art in 2020 and currently lives and works between Berlin and Oslo.


Freja Burgess (b. 1994, UK) is a British artist currently living and working in Oslo, having gained an MFA at the National Academy of the Arts, graduating in 2021. Led by intuition and a fascination with her visual surroundings, Freja choses to work primarily with textiles, to translate her impalpable perceptions into textural responses, to be touched and experienced by others. Exploring the physical potential of textiles, Freja works with their fluid and structural qualities, to create material sculptures.


Helen Hausland (b. 1974) graduated from the MFA program in medium and material based art, Oslo National Academy of the Arts, in 2020. Time, repetition and materiality are key words in the artist’s process. Hausland builds ceramic compositions by pressing bits of clay together repeatedly until creating forms. Subtle manipulations create shifts that develops spontaneously in ways that cannot be planned beforehand. Hausland lives and works in Oslo but keeps a studio at Norsk Teknisk Porselen factory in Fredrikstad. Her work is represented in the collections of Oslo City Council and Norges Bank.  

Nellie Jonsson (b. 1992, Umeå, Sweden) is a Swedish artist who works with ceramics, painting and sculpture. She graduated from the Oslo Academy of the Arts with an MFA in material-based art in 2021. Jonsson's figurative work communicates everyday elements, while unexpected compositions also leave a distinctive mark on the expression. Previous works have been shown at the Spring Exhibition 2020 (Kunsthal Charlottenborg, DK), Salgshallen (NO) and QB Gallery (NO).


Patricia Risopatron Berg (b. 1995, Norway), graduated from the MFA program in medium and material based art, Oslo National Academy of the Arts, in 2020. Starting from visual references from our near and distant past, she aims to partake in a conversation on everchanging symbols and contexts. Her work is based in, though not limited to, printmaking. She lives and works in Oslo.

'Landscape', Artist book available for downloading.

Click on the image!

This exhibition was supported by:

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