When I try to put my overall professional career and practice into words, there are many milestones and a clear connecting thread that runs through it. This thread begins with a Danish visual artist and my general fascination with Moorish patterns. Looking back, I see that major developments have occurred at approximately ten-year intervals.


During the 1980s, it was a big step to graduate, get started and discover that the world was full of patterns and possibilities. In particular, my 18-year-old encounters with the Matthias Church in Budapest and

Niels Nedergaard’s paintings at the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek were a sort of awakening.

To debut in juried exhibitions with installations made of recycled paper, fish skin, photographs, sheet iron and handmade paper. And, in a particularly essential development, I began my visits to Parisian museums and the library of Institut du Monde Arabe, which I have continued ever since – for 40 years and counting.


During the 1990s, it was exciting to be part of a shared studio and to share a workspace with fellow weavers on a daily basis. To weave my first big rugs and receive the silver Hetsch Medal of 1879. To exhibit in a gallery and at the Copenhagen Art Fair three years in a row, to be reviewed and compared to Vaserely and described as ‘an off-beat Vibeke Klint’. To win First Prize at the 50th anniversary of Stoftrykker- og Væverlauget (The Textile Printers’ and Weavers’ Guild) and to exhibit in Japan. The trip to Japan and the journey to Morocco with the Royal Danish Art Academy’s School of Wall and Space – where we were invited into amazing places I would never have gained access to on my own – were magical. To organize the Danish Crafts & Design Association’s exhibition for Copenhagen – European Capital of Culture in 1996. To take part in the crafts and design fair at Frue Plads and, finally, to participate in the Textile Workshop at Tuskær where I made sculptural objects. However, the most significant experience during this decade was

my visits to Japan and Morocco, which had a crucial impact on my perspective, going forward.


During the 2000s, I broke with everything and organized the exhibition ‘Rejse i Rum i 2001’ (An Odyssey in Space in 2001) at Den Frie Centre of Contemporary Art, a joint project with the ceramicist Mark Lauberg. The idea sprang from long conversations about the film ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ and all the design featured in it. As we talked, we began to wonder whether in the future, we would actually need to surround ourselves with all the things we make. It was an exuberant and unique exhibition, co-created with a scenographer, a furniture designer and a ceramicist. We even made it into the Kunstårbogen (Art Year Book) for 2001. Also, to be part of the group of Danish craft makers who exhibited at the Copenhagen Furniture Fair under the name ‘9-expressions’. My exhibition at the Ågalleriet gallery in the city of Frederiksværk, where I had sufficient room to just empty my studio and show it all. To be invited to exhibitions in Denmark and abroad. To showcase my work at markets and crafts fairs – especially the annual event at Frue Plads in Copenhagen. To set up a new studio and expand my professional network. To receive more site-specific commissions, including the creation of a woven version of the altar carpet at Hobro Church.

My ‘Forms in Progression’ exhibitions

with my colleagues Jannik Seidelin and Karin Hougaard in varying incarnations, from 1996 until 2009, culminating with the big exhibition at Copenhagen’s Round Tower. Following the exhibition, the Round Tower commissioned a wall hanging from me a few years later to serve as a decorative and sound-dampening element in their Tower Room meeting space. Meanwhile, I was feeling a growing urge to change tack again. I find it difficult to pick a particular milestone for the 2000s, because there were so many important developments. However, the exhibition at

the Round Tower

stands out to me: not only did I create my biggest hand-woven rug to date – ‘Ørkenklit’ (Desert Dune) – for this exhibition, it was also the first time I presented my hexagonal patterns.


During the 2010s, the dominant trend was my new hexagonal life, inspired by traditional Islamic patterns.

To take the leap into ‘Rummets Uendelighed’ (The Infinite Space),

challenging my abilityto express myself through other media than weaving. The Danish Crafts & Design Association’s decision to include elements from my exhibition as permanent decorative features in their office in Bredgade is a huge source of joy for me every time I visit.

New collaborations and connections

with other expressions I encounter are also a tremendous source of inspiration. Like my collaboration with my workshop colleagues Amelie Tillgren in the Finnish-Danish exhibition OLO – Mærkbart (OLO – Palpable) or the textile exhibition format Kontempo. Receiving an invitation from the Islamic Arts Festival 20th Edition in 2017 – after several communications with both Paris and London that did not pan out – an amazing cultural encounter, where I met 42 artists from 31 countries at a huge Islamic arts event with so many expressions and, yet, a common language. The most recent offshoot of this event is an American collaboration that is gradually taking shape. That is amazing. It is also amazing that I have been able to work concurrently with my upcycled mats and high-quality throws in my workshop in Copenhagen, as evidence that durability rules!


For the 2020s it is my ambition to live out and activate all the side branches and new potentials following from my hexagons.

I feel so fortunate and look forward to moving in several circles at once, at multiple destinations.

I am constantly striving to maintain my balance and to continue to pursue even more of the design possibilities springing from ‘Rummets Uendelighed’ in the form of architectural and acoustic room dividers, floor tiles or lamps. Also, an exciting number: 38. The number of homes that now feature one of my woven rugs. Some of them are bespoke designs based on personal requests and site-specific needs, others were bought as finished designs. What joy to know that so many families live with threads from my loom, made to last at least 50 years.


Pia Jensen, Frederiksberg, 2020