The plant life in Lofoten is the backdrop to this the project. Besides Marhaug’s artistic fields of interest, contact with nature — and especially the world of plants — have been important sources of knowledge. The North of Norway, and Lofoten in particular, is essential to this practice — the sea, mountains and the wildlife. In Marhaug’s research, the local flora has a particular importance. In the harsh climate from the seashore to the mountain, there is a rich life of growth.
Her Blue Herbarium is a tribute to both the genre of herbariums and the living plants. Plants collected during the summer season is the basis of the blue herbarium. Pressed and later printed in one negative and one positive, the individual species are presented in the lepporello-structured book.
One year after creating the Blue Herbarium, Marhaug’s work continued, this time concentrating on seaweed — but using the same techniques. The printing ink is this time red, responding to the fact that light waves going deepest into the sea are absorbed by red algae. Both the Red and the Blue Herbarium include hand written texts: a selection in original languages from Icelandic to Latin; poems as well as scientific quotations.
Rita Marhaug is a visual artist from Norway. She holds an MA in fine art from Bergen Academy of Art and Design, KHIB, and a BA in history of art from the University of Bergen, UiB. Until July, 2013 she was professor at KHIB, Dept of Fine Art. Since the early 90's she has participated in a great number of solo and group exhibitions and performance festivals both in Norway and internationally. Through print making, Marhaug was introduced to bookbinding. These have been important tools in her practice since.