Searching for the Pit-Comb Ceramics – Marit Landsend and Grethe Winter Svendsen

Last week our residency program BAR International hosted ceramists Marit Landsend (Tromsø) and Grethe Winter Svendsen (Svolvær). The main goal of Marit and Grethe´s residency was to do a research on Pit-Comb Ceramic findings in Sør-Varanger area, the type of ceramics that the artists want to bring back to the world and audience through a bigger exhibition.   

The Pit-Comb Ceramic findings that are located in the area of Sør-Varanger, namely in Noatun area, are unique, yet not that well-known. Marit and Grethe aim to use the bigger findings of Pit-Comb Ceramics from the possession of UiT The Arctic University of Norway, in a bigger exhibition at Terminal B in 2022. Apart from that, they are also planning on a group exhibition with North-Norwegian and Russian ceramists, when the Pit-Comb Ceramic findings are known to be found in Northwestern Russia, as well as in Northern Norway.

During their residency, Marit and Grethe visited Noatun area, where they had a meeting and a guided tour with local history experts and the owners of the area Gunnar Kollstrøm and Berit Malmo. Between the fully-packed days with brainstorming and planning the upcoming exhibition together with Pikene curators, the artists got to explore Sør-Varanger and visit Grense Jakobselv and Borderland museum.

The Pit-Comb Ceramics originate from an early Stone Age in the period between ca. 5300 and 4100 BC. The Pit-Comb Ceramic tubs were pretty big and had a round or sharp bottom, and the ornaments were mainly made with a comb-formed, toothed piston.

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