Object of the month: Jar

Monthly Artifacts

Almost everything about this jar is a mystery. We know that it is a jug, made of fired clay, and that at one time it fell to the bottom of the sea in Kåfjord, Alta. It was found by a diver in September 2000 alongside a clay pipe that it shares the display case with. That's really all we know. The sea has done its best to claim it, and now it is encrusted with rough knotty algae that conceal any possible identifiable features on the jug. But, arguably, the ravages of the sea have given it a new aesthetic beauty.

If you were to set up an exhibition around this artefact, we could probably tell a myriad of stories. We could have learnt about the algae that abound in Kåfjord, and how they live and adjust to their environment. Or maybe we could have focused more on the diving enthusiasts here in Alta, their stories, experiences and finds. And raise the question of why it is now illegal to recover objects from the depths of the fjord? Or perhaps there are fables and myths about underwater creatures here?

For the time being the jug can be displayed on its own: the thoughts and associations it evokes are maybe enough in themselves?

Anne Klippenvåg Pettersen - curator