hanne lydia

Artist Statement




In my latter works the covered up self-portrait has been the frame off my works. The self- portrait has always played an important role in art, and by linking the theme to this project, the works can be placed in a contemporary, political context with arthistorical references. The focus is on the face and the upper parts of the body. Or in some cases, the lack of face.

”True Identity” refers to an underwear collection for men carrying the same name. Staged photographs are used as a starting point in the process and are also incorporated as meta-elements in some of the works. The photos in the drawings are random snapshots, showing everyday scenes that, being brought in, contribute to further dramatise the drawings. The covered self-portraits with brand names and the intimacy of the photographs emphasise the doubleness in different cultures and of the human psyche.

The recurring theme is the covered portrait, used as a reference to the strong focus on the body in different cultures, and the need to cover/uncover the body to express one self. I work mainly within the themes of gender and identity, primarily from the marginalised’s point of view. Paradoxes fascinate me, doubleness on different levels, both socially and culturally. The motifs are created from negative to positive and give the expression in the drawings an almost mystical touch.

I use elements such as underwear, knitted gloves, scarves and other accessories to cover the faces, either partially or entirely, creating in the portraits maps of cultural tracks and references. Objects, that have no connection with religion or gender, but reflect a need for symbols. I also use glimpses of nature and knitted garments referring to the northern hemisphere. This involves the traditional, cultural inheritance where women for decays have contributed with making life saving garments to give the necessary shelter against the cold weather. Designer sunglasses are widely used across different beliefs and dress codes, as is underwear, here removed from the habitual context of use. It is the way the garments are worn that creates possible cross-references and makes them express something else.



Hanne Lydia O. Kristoffersen, 2010



last century
artist statement