Vebjørg Hagene Thoe comes from Fredrikstad, but she has lived in Lofoten for 40 years. She grew up as a missionary child in Tanzania, a background which is obvious in her artistic practice. She has a strong urge to communicate and alternates with different forms of expression, also performance in collaboration with composers, musicians and dancers. She studied at the art academy in Cracow, starting with classical gobelins, but experimenting in the field of fibre and techniques lead to sculptures, old photo processes and installations. The last 20 years she has had a focus on colonialism and oppression, including the critique of violence in religion.
At the theatre festival she presents her last installation “The Holiest” — a room made of a tapestry and photographs on silk fabric. The inspiration originates from the Jewish mobile tabernacle combined with the Kiswah of the Muslims — the curtain covering the holy Kaaba in Mecca. Symbols from the world religions are mixed together on the tapestry, in an effort to find some common positive traits. The public are invited to reflect about faith and doubt — and inside the “tent” you find different holy and secular writings. It is also possible to express your own views.
“Tent meetings” were annual events in Norwegian towns when Vebjørg grew up, when the various congregations and sects would worship in the same location. She hopes to gather people from a wider range of outlooks on life to a dialogue by the tent.