Katarina Spik Skum

Tjoarvveavve (belt with horn details), 2022, Katarina Spik Skum, photographerJamie Michael Bivard

Katarina Spik Skum uses a variety of approaches to explore the Lule Sámi duodji tradition to find new ways and methods to develop her own artistic practice.

Tjoarvvesliehppá ja tjoarvveavve (Shirtfront and belt with horn details), 2022
In the Lule Sámi tradition, collars, shirtfronts, belts and other objects are commonly decorated with silver or tin. The silver served as a means of investment alongside its decorative function–a way of collecting and preserving capital. In designing Tjoarvvesliehppá ja tjoarvveavve, Spik Skum has taken inspiration from other Sami regions, where other Sami craftspeople have used alternative materials, rather than tin and silver, as the latter can both only be sourced through mining. Here, Spik Skum trades the silver and tin of the Lule Sámi tradition for decorative details made from horn by the Sami craftsman Per Stefan Idvuoma.

 

Mujtton l och ll. Minnet av áhkkos väskor (Mujtton I and II. Memories of áhkko’s bags), 2022
Katarina Spik Skum’s practice is inspired by designs and methods that she has identified in historical objects through her research into the Lule Sámi traditions. The piece Mujtton l och ll. Minnet av áhkkos väskor (“Mujtton I and II. Memories of áhkko’s bags”) looks back on the bags Spik Skum used to make with her grandmother, but also serves as an exploration of the use of reindeer hides. For this artwork, she has used thicker hides than the ones commonly used in contemporary Lule Sámi duodji. Additionally, the hides are imperfect, displaying traces of warble fly larvae. By purposefully choosing to leave the visible effects of the reindeers’ lives within the hide, Spik Skum is also able to be resourseful and use more of the hides themselves.

 

Katarina Spik Skum is a duojár and textile artist based in Jåhkåmåhkke (Jokkmokk). She takes commission work as well as pursuing self-initiated projects, and approaches her craft with a mindset that is both traditional and experimental. Spik Skum has an MA from Sámi allaskuvla (the Sámi University of Applied Science) in Guovdageaidnu (Kautokeino), Norway, regularly shares her knowledge in lectures and workshops.