Interview with Lisbeth Karline

Lisbeth Karline is a Greenlandic/Danish artist. In this interview series of 5 she talks about her art and how she works as an artist. Lisbeth is interviewed by art historian Laila Lund Altinbas for NUKIGA. Have a look below.

Part 1: Finding the common thread – inspired by handicrafts

Lisbeth Karline talks about the quest for the common thread in her work and her deep fascination with Greenlandic handicrafts.

“To me it also becomes a celebration of the line of women that lived before me, my ancestors who worked with and refined the handicrafts, a knowledge and skill that has been passed on to me.”

Lisbeth Karline (b. 1981 in Nanortalik, but raised in Denmark and in Uummannaq) is an artist, producer, actress and much more. Lisbeth is motivated by challenges in her artistic practice.

The biggest challenge that she has ever given herself was to make a white version of the West Greenlandic national costume for the exhibition ”The White Out” in 2015. Watch the first episode of NUKIGA’s visit to Lisbeth Karline and learn more about her quest for the common thread in her work and her deep fascination with Greenlandic handicrafts.

Part 2: Celebrating everyday life

Lisbeth Karline talks about working with Greenlandic nature as a motif and how eating a codfish can be seen as a celebration of everyday life.

“Even the simplest, most mundane, and the most accessible things in life can be worth celebrating”

The nature in Greenland is often portrayed as majestic landscapes, but in her art, Lisbeth works with nature from another angle. She portrays a seal, a Greenlandic flower, or an ice floe, but up close and in segments. Watch the second episode of NUKIGA’s visit to Lisbeth Karline and learn how eating a codfish can be seen as a celebration of everyday life.

Part 3: Insight into an artistic practice

Lisbeth Karline talks about her artistic practice from the first sketch to the final artwork.

“I work in many different materials and with diverse ideas – because if I work only with one thing at a time, it takes a lot of time to finish and I start to fiddle with it and it becomes too frilly – by working on many different things at once the process seems more effortless to me and at some point I finish up a project or two, while the other things are still in process”

In the third episode of NUKIGA’s visit to Lisbeth Karline we dive into her artistic practice – beginning with the making of a stamp for Tusass (former Tele-Post) in celebration of the 25th anniversary of The Arctic Council. Watch and learn more about Lisbeth’s artistic practice from the first sketch to the final artwork.

Part 5: On dreams, loneliness and not making art just for a living

Lisbeth Karline talks about expressing what you have to say, daring to focus attention on your dreams and the importance of being part of a community.

“I think I have found freedom in not making art just for a living but making art because it is important. I have something that I need to express like with ‘The Whiteout’ (exhibition). Whether I make installations or video art – like the white national costume, they are not artworks that people display in their living room.”

Lisbeth is an artist, producer, actress etc. The diverse fields she works in all gives her something different. In the fourth episode of NUKIGAs visit to Lisbeth we talk about expressing what you have to say, daring to focus attention on your dreams and the importance of being part of a community.

Part 5: Gazes on Greenland

Lisbeth Karline talks about her reflections on being both Greenlandic and Danish and on different gazes on Greenland.

“So many photographers and journalists come to Greenland wanting to portray how – deep sigh, sorry – exotic we are, being an indigenous people and all that. As an artist I am sometimes fed up with this way of portraying us.”

Do artists have a responsibility to society, challenging the status quo? Lisbeth Karline shares her thoughts on this issue in the fifth and last part of NUKIGA’s visit to Lisbeth. We discuss inside/outside gazes on Greenland and Lisbeths reflections on being both Greenlandic and Danish.