Birgit Østergaard was born on a small farm in Jutland, Denmark in 1947 and grew up in a traditional family. At an early age, her mother taught her to knit and crochet – abilities that later in her life led to a deeply rooted fascination of textile techniques and female crafts as an expression of a coherent story about women’s significant contribution to family and society. Conflicts and possibilities in the 21st century is at the heart of Birgit’s art. The pressure of modern life on man is manifested as xenophobia and self-absorption with communities primarily established through social media. The need to develop her artistic abilities resurfaced during a period of personal crisis and in her 30-ties and she gave up her teaching and opened a professional paper workshop. She never had a traditional artistic training but traveled, worked and explored her new métier who showed the way towards a three-dimensional expression. Birgit works in themes and uses handmade parts in building up rather large pieces often completed with light. The works appear as single beauty revelations in a desert and as such her art transforms standard notions of realism into uniquely seductive form. “My inspiration is everywhere – a text, a glimpse of light, a rock by the sea”, she says.
Birgit’s work has been exhibited worldwide. Among many others she has received grants from Danish National Banks Foundation for Crafts & Danish Ministry for Cultural Affairs.
Art Residency and Travels: Fundation San Cataldo, Italy, Fundacion Valparaiso, Spain, Researh Travel in United States supported by Danish Ministry for Cultural Affairs, Reseaching the Ancient Amate Paper, Mexico supported by City Council of Aarhus and Danish Arts Foundation.
Birgit har also trained as a teacher using her professional paper workshop as a base for students to find their own path in life and taught as Guest Lecturer, Academy of Architecture.
In 2006 she won a prequalification on the creation of a 400 m2 round ceiling for a new city hall, designed by SHL Architects, Denmark and in 2012 she was selected as a finalist for Laguna Prize in Venice, Italy and in 2013 shortlisted for the 8th Cheonggju International Craft Competition, Korea.
Birgit lives and works in her studio, located at the harbor Aarhus with a view to
The everlasting flowing water
The sky as the land of dreams and
the forest with its tranquil hustle and bustle