Kjell Gunnar Overøye works with relief, metal shaping and sculpture using various metals such as steel, copper and silver. The reliefs consist of several layers of contrasting metals, where motifs emerge through cuts or perforations. Space and shadow effects are thus created between the different layers.
The metal shaping is done manually using a hammer. Overøye then inserts thin silver threads into chiselled grooves in the steel. The method is a variant of the rare traditional damascening technique, and is very time-consuming.
The artist is preoccupied with the tangibility of the materials themselves – expressed through the craftsmanship and individual shaping, and the constant search for material qualities, inherent colours and character. Contrasting the materials is paramount, and often also symbolic, considering the common expectations and perceptions we have of such materials; noble and base metals, range of use and attributed meanings. Contrasts between the light and dark, visualised by the white, polished silver against the rust or black patinated steel, remain essential.
The motifs are often compositions with fragments of lines and shapes from natural or man-made landscapes, figuratively suggestive or distortions towards the abstract. In terms of surface treatment, Overøye often uses «natural» methods such as burying materials in the ground or etching them with salt. Thus, they are partially reclaimed by nature, bringing out the fragile and perishable qualities that still remain in these materials.
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Kjell Gunnar Overøye (b. 1964, lives and works in Sykkylven, Møre and Romsdal) trained at the metalwork department of the National College of Art and Design in Oslo, graduating with a Diploma in 1989. Overøyes work has been featured in individual exhibitions at, among others, Khåk Kunsthall (Ålesund, 2018), Møre og Romsdal Kunstsenter (Molde) and Grimstad Kunstforening.
Collective exhibitions include NK Temautstilling SKOG, Telemark Kunstsenter (Skien, 2021), Årsutstillingen - NK, Nordnorsk Kunstmuseum (Tromsø, 2020), NK Midt-Norge (Trondheim, 2020), Romsdalsmuseet (Molde) and Cylindra Gallery (Sykkylven).
Overøye has produced public art projects for the Ålesund and Volda hospitals, Sykkylven Municipality and several Norwegian churches. His work has, among others, been acquired by the KUBE art museum (Ålesund, 2021) and Oslo’s municipal art collection (2020). He has been awarded an Arts Council Norway work grant and a Møre og Romsdal County artist grant.
Kjell Gunnar Overøye, Shukkei-en Garden, 2017, rust patinated steel and copper