13.04. – 29.09. 2019

No Strings – Beads in a Modern Context introduces a field in glass art with roots in an ancient tradition of making and combining tiny glass beads. Historically, it has been associated with cottage industry and craftsmanship rather than the world of art. A number of artists use glass beads, nevertheless, as their basic material to find surprising new ways of working with beads and placing them significantly in a modern context.

The exhibition shows works by Jim Skull (France), Faranak Sohi (Iran/Denmark), David Chatt (USA) and Shige Fujishiro (Japan), who all work with beads in a contemporary artistic idiom. Beside these works is an installation by the Swedish collector, Georg Ragnar Levi, made up of beaded flowers from his unique collection.

All the artists taking part in the exhibition share a fascination with tiny beads and the infinite variety of colours, shapes textures and shapes they offer. The process itself, working by hand, and the time-consuming task of threading the beads on a string, forming them and connecting them into larger motifs and objects, is also an important factor in their choice of beads as their preferred material.  

David Chatt’s works covered in white beads tell personal stories about his childhood, his mother, his relationship with his father, and about being young in the USA in the 1980s. The work and the process itself are an important element in creating the content: time, so to speak, is sewn into the works. His latest works are not so much concerned with the aesthetic qualities of glass as with the totally absorbing nature of the task of sewing. “In a constantly accelerating world, where ‘faster is better’, it can be quite hypnotising to sew thousands of tiny beads together, one by one, in a process that cannot be hurried,” he says.

Shige Fujishiro was born in Japan, and lives and works in Germany. Like the other artists in this exhibition, he likes the slow, almost meditative task of threading minute beads. In his case, he threads them onto safety pins. The basic material in his work is in fact beads on safety pins, which he then sews together into three-dimensional objects. The bead works are often included in larger conceptual installations, together with found objects and other everyday items. With his bead works, Shige Fujishiro creates contrasts and surprising clashes between motifs and meaning. He combines traditional Japanese motifs, such as cherry blossom and butterflies with Western motifs like hunting trophies or carrier bags, and he challenges our perception of the world around us, as for example in the carrier bag project which he started in 2009. 

Faranak Sohi was born in Iran. She came to Denmark in 1984, and lives and works in Odder, south of Aarhus. Faranak Sohi trained as a graphic artist, and has worked with many different materials, including painting, collage, drawing, embroidery, street art, photography, sound and video. Her art work draws on her own life. She refers to the visual richness of the Middle East, taking in traditional Iranian embroidery when she embroiders everyday motifs in brilliantly coloured beads on cardboard: an alarm clock, a hairdryer, a motor saw, a Danish Kähler vase – objects that could have been taken from a Danish home magazine or an advertising catalogue. 

Jim Skull, also known as Francois Faure, lives and works in Paris. He grew up in New Caledonia in the southern Pacific, and over the years he has travelled a lot. On his travels through Australia, New Zealand, India and Hong Kong and elsewhere, he has met different cultures and rituals, customs and people who have inspired his artistic work.
Jim Skull’s work revolves round the human skull, and in his art he uses a variety of materials, constantly exploring its form and significance. The skulls are covered with myriads of sparkling glass beads from Murano, or coloured strings, horsehair, wooden beads, amber, or even spines from a porcupine.

Georg Ragnar Levi Georg Ragnar Levi has been collecting Italian and French beaded flowers for 30 years. He now has a collection that is unique in the world, and consists of more than a thousand glittering flowers created by artist-craftsmen and unknown bead artists. In Georg Ragnar Levi’s installation Sow Flowers on Your Path, selected flowers from his collection form a path between a portal and an antique memorial wreath, or immortelle. Together with Levi’s poem with the same title, the installation reflects our ambivalent attitude to the passage of time, and as a contemporary vanitas, symbolises the transience of life in the same way as the Dutch still-life paintings of the 17th century.


Saturday 13/4, 11am: Flower Forever – The Everlasting Flora of Venice and France. Join Georg Ragnar Levi, Swedish author and creator of the installation ”Sow flowers on your path”, on his fascinating personal journey in to the little known craft of beading flowers. 
Sunday 5/5, 2pm: Artist Faranak Sohi gives an introduction to her work in the exhibition.


The exhibition has been supported by:

Augustinus Fonden
Knud Højgaards Fond
Lemvigh-Müller Fonden
Aage og Johanne Louis-Hansens Fond
Dansk-Svensk Kulturfond

Shige Fujishiro. IKEA. 2013.

David Chatt. 1982. 2015. Foto Mercedes Jelinek 

Jim Skull. Untitled. Copyrights: Jim Skull & C. Lebedinsky.

Faranak Sohi. Elpisker. 2018.

Detail – beaded flowers by Nella Sammartini and French beaded flowers from the 1970’s. From Georg Ragnar Levi’s collection. Photo: Edvard Koinberg.


01.11 – 31.03: 10 – 16 WED – SUN*
01.04 – 31.10: 10 – 17 DAILY
01.07 – 31.08: 10 – 18 DAILY
*Open daily during week 7 and Easter. Closed on 24th, 25th, 26th, 31st Dec. and 1st Jan.
See opening hours for Stockfleth DELI

01.04 – 31.10: Adults 110
01.11 – 31.03: Adults 85
CHILDREN 6 – 17 YEARS: 30 all year round
GROUPS: (min. 20 persons) 20% reduction
The admission ticket gives 20% reduction on the admission to Fregatten Jylland and Ree Park Safari within 7 days.


T +45 8634 1799