The artist is seen as a cultural icon and nation builder in Sápmi.1 He was an innovator of Sami joik and visual art, as well as a Nordic pioneer in poetry, artist books and sound art. His work is of great relevance today, both within the field of art and as an advocate for the rights of Indigenous peoples. Witht his exhibition, Henie Onstad Kunstsenter will highlight his importance in the Nordic countries as well as in a larger global perspective.
The Sami artist Nils-Aslak Valkeapää / Áillohaš was born in 1943. Throughout Áillohaš’ works one can always find a deep respect for nature, ecology, animals and humans.
Áillohaš was born into a reindeer-herding family. His mother Ellen Susanna was from Ulisuolu/Uløya in North Troms, Norway, while his father Johannes came from the Gárasavvon/Karesuando area on the Finnish side of Sápmi. As Áillohaš did not have it in him to kill animals, he studied to become a teacher in order to connect with literature, visual art and music.
After graduating in 1966 Áillohaš dedicated himself to forefront Sámi traditions and rights. He was central in the establishing of publishers, unions and festivals with the aim to strengthen Sami culture as he fought for the rights of indigenous people on a global scale. In addition he left behind a remarkable artistic legacy of his interdisciplinary art work.
Áillohaš was an innovator within the Sámi tradition of music, literature and visual art, and a Nordic pioneer in the fields of artists books, sound art and poetry. Nils-Aslak Valkeapää / Áillohaš died in 2001 and his work is of great relevance today.
Gallery name: Henie Onstad Kunstsenter
Address: Sonja Henies vei 31, Høvikodden
Opening hours: Tue-Sun 11:00 - 17:00
Open: 23.10.2020 - 02.05.2021