A Portrait of Northern Sweden's Vibrant Artistic Ecosystem


Dazhän akàndür dänkwänji ke shų nenàdhàt.

Photograph of a brown log which is cut and tied up on a mossy forest floor surrounded by trees.
Photograph of a brown log which is cut and tied up on a mossy forest floor surrounded by trees.
Norrakollektivet (Anja Örn, Fanny Carinasdotter & Thomas Örn), A Place Disappearing (2020).

This spotlight presents art and culture from Norrbotten, Västerbotten and Sápmi, in the northern part of Sweden, with a population of approximately 500,000 in a geographic area covering about one-third of Sweden.

The Sámi are an Indigenous people of northern Europe. Sámi territory, Sápmi, stretches geographically from Norway, Sweden and Finland to the Kola Peninsula. Sápmi also represents the unity of Sàmi within a single homeland that traverses national borders. Like many Indigenous people, their history has been marked by assimilation policies from the states they live in, leading to ongoing struggles for self-determination, land rights and recognition. The Sámi people have their own culture, languages and livelihoods, and above all, a clear connection to their traditional land and water areas.

In this spotlight, visitors can experience different examples of art from the North, linked by a common experience of living in the Arctic, which reflects the work that we present. The spotlight aims to provide a broad picture of culture from the North of Sweden and offer inspiration to experience even more.

11 Sweden-based Sámi Artists Addressing Indigenous Pasts, Presents, and Futures
Excerpts from the 2015 book Contemporary Sámi Art and Design.

A Letter from Norrbotten
Silvia Colombo takes us on a journey across Sweden through artist projects by Norrakollektivet and Anders Sunna.

Artist spotlight: Katarina Spik Skum
A Sámi duodji practitioner explores the traditions behind three Lule Sámi costume elements.

Bold and Generous Stitches: The Embroideries of Brita Weglin
A Swedish textile artist brings viewers on a journey through a phantasmagorical world.

Exhibitions at Havremagasinet Länskonsthall on Urgent Issues of Our Time
Selected artists from Northern Sweden, featured in recent shows curated by Mariangela Mendez Prencke, ask critical questions about climate, human rights, history and identity.

An outdoor dance performance honours one of Sápmi’s eight seasons.

Meet 4 Artisans from Across Northern Sweden
Interviews with artists working in textiles, jewellery and ceramics.

Stitched Worlds
Sámi textile artist Britta Marakatt-Labba’s distinctive iconography tells the story of crisis, the cosmos and the quotidian.

A critic and curator reflects on the nature of change, loss and time in the work of Swedish photographer Erik Holmstedt.


Each week, the Arctic Arts Summit Digital Platform spotlights an important region of the circumpolar North or organization working to support Arctic artists and their practices. Spotlights are an exciting introduction to the variety of perspectives across the circumpolar world and we invite you to learn more across the platform.