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Britta Marakatt-Labba: ‘Images Are Always Stories’

Britta Marakatt-Labba, Garjját (The Crows), 1981, wool embroidery on linen, 40 × 110 cm. Courtesy the artist and University of Tromsø, Tromsø
Anders Kreuger annotates a selection of embroidered canvasses by Britta Marakatt- Labba, suggesting we read them as contemporary history painting. How shall we characterise Britta Marakatt-Labba’s work: as quintessentially visual because it shape-shifts into storytelling without losing its identity as image, or as supremely narrative because it uses lines, literally, to bypass linearity? Such questions are so fundamental that they become all but impossible to answer, yet we shall always be asking about the meaning, and function and status of the image. These are core concerns in every culture, whether it is labelled ‘indigenous’ or not.