Janne Robberstad

Welcome to my site! I work as a costume-designer and an artist, and creating, or ARTING as I prefer, makes me happy! This is both a portfolio of things I´ve made and a blog meant to inspire.

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40 things to do before I turn 42

I made the graphic design for this site:

The Fearless Art-festival

By spotogspindel | May 31, 2015


I´ve spent the weekend in Voss, at the Fearless Art-festival. Made in cooperation with the annual national meeting for visual art groups/organizations in Norway. Four of us came up from Bømlo Art group, and during the three days we´ve had some interesting discussions about what provokes us (this was the underlying theme of the festival), what good art is (and what is bad art) aamoung other themes.


One of my favorites was Kjartan Slettemarks “Kjartaistan”, where you could snooze yourself into a minister-post. (Inspired by Kate Bush, I´ve personally always found the good-soul department attractive, but that´s another story)


This hidden treasure, quietly resting in a forrest is another beautiful piece, made by Wolfgang Stiller.


Not to forget goldsmith Felieke Van Der Leest playful combination of traditional metalwork, plastic figurines and very fine crochet work.


A collection of dead things, also very beautifully made by Ann Kristin Aas.

So, back to the provocative part. What kind of art provokes you?

There was a performance group there, making tableaus in different locations, moving slowly or standing still in positions, all naked. Does that provoke? The oldest one in our party thought it would be a lot more provocative for the younger generation, as they have a much more complex relationship towards nudity. She herself thought it was a beautiful thing to see naked NATURAL bodies. The rest of us of around 40-50 agreed that it didn´t provoke us either. Also we talked about how it is a cultural thing, what one is used to and what is taboo.


Does this little porcelain figurine by Kamilla Sajetz Mathisen provoke you? The art group had actually censored it from their own exhibition during the daytime visits from school-groups. Only to find that the cloth-coverd columns which they were standing on, took a lot of attention and triggered a load of speculations amount the students, many whom came back with their parents after school-hours.

Topics: Art | 1 Comment »

Coastal culture

By spotogspindel | May 28, 2015


It´s almost time for a new exhibition! Time i flying, and I am making some new pictures for the summer-exhibition at Bekkjarvik Gallery. It opens June 7th. Here is one of them, simply a warm collage inspired by our coastal culture. Looking at it, it gives me fond memories of favorite summer days by the sea, I can practically smell the salt of the sun-warmed, naked rock faces. sigh…

Topics: Art | No Comments »

Love and marriage

By spotogspindel | May 27, 2015

My baby sister got married this weekend! And my blog-absence is mainly because of her, the preparations, and all the family-gatherings. It´s been so much fun!


photo: Jane Alfredsen

It was such a lovely wedding. My baby-sister happens to be my next-door neighbor, and I am so happy about that! Her husband is already like a brother to me, and their children brighten all of our days.


My main contribution was making the bouquets for the bridesmaids and for the tables. 13 all together. I love working with flowers! Arranging them, combining shapes, textures and colors, even scents… The bouquets here are made of hydrangea, orchids, lilacs, paniculata and roses. Simple, but beautiful.


A couple of photos from the decorated room, as you can see, the color-theme is white and purple.


Topics: Diverse | No Comments »

Sri Lanka travel journal

By spotogspindel | May 21, 2015

I´m home! After 10 wonderfully relaxing days, I´m back to my normal, sometimes-crazy-busy days. One of my favorite things to come home to, was a big package in the mail from Dawn Sokol. A big book inside, with a handwritten bookmark, guiding me to my page 😀


Author´s note to me (hi-hi..)


I am not sure if I can find the words to fully describe what it feels like to read one´s own name in a book like this. Awesome, proud, humble, super-cool are some of them.


The pictures inside the book are from my travel-journal, with pages from Mexico, Israel and Palestine.

I haven´t read much of it yet, days are busy. But I have started with the beginning, and am enjoying the details in the work, the thoughts the artists offer. I really like that so many of the artists have their websites published. I am looking forward to discovering a lot of new ARTing-folks!

Well, anyway. I thought I´d celebrate it with you, by sharing the next 7 pages in my original travel journal: Sri Lanka. It´s the 39th country I´ve visited! It ranks quite high, and is one of the countries I don´t feel I am nearly finished discovering, and want to go back to explore more.


The pages are all watercolor and black pen, the last page isn´t finished… but that´s the beauty of a travel journal, there is no “right way”, no way should be or has to be. It just is what it is. If I don´t finish, then I don´t finish.

I might not be posting for a couple of days: my baby sister is getting married, and my creativity will go into flower-decorations, singing and trying to make a fun speech…

Topics: arting | 2 Comments »

Sri Lanka – the handicrafts

By spotogspindel | May 16, 2015

Sri Lanka is a country with a long and rich history, which is also filled with fine handicrafts and arts.

Woodcarving is one of them. Still today, the crafts is being held partly by making traditional masks sold to tourists.


They use mainly native trees like mahogany, rosewood, teak, ebony among others. We passed several mahogany-plantations on our trip.


Below is a log from a rainbow-tree. Carved shed dings are used, mixed with water as paint, both on wood and plaster/fresco. In itself, is has a warm orange-red color. Add a few drops of lemon juice and it turns purple-blue. Add more lemon-juice and it turns bright yellow. Add a little plaster and it turns a brownish color. Fascinating!


The mask below is not among the traditional religious masks, but it is painted with paints from the rainbow-tree.


Silks! A land of saris and sarongs, the have lots of silk. A lot of it is handwoven, and some of them embroidered for a very decorative effect. Yes, that is me, being silly, posing with my tourist-cast-mark in my forehead. But the sari, though, was stunning!



Anne and me posing as natives. Only our pale skin gives us away 😉


Batic is another traditional craft here. Above is a photo of wax-batic in the process. By applying hot wax in a certain pattern, it shields the fibers from soaking up dye and therefore color. The process can be repeated several times, adding new layers of color for a rich picture.


We met this man on the beach just by the hotel. He´s a fisher and mending his fishing net at the end of the day. This is a common activity amount fishers around the world, but if I am not mistaken it is on the red-list of nearly-instinct crafts in Norway: Too few people still know how to do this.


Topics: travel | 1 Comment »

People of Sri Lanka

By spotogspindel | May 15, 2015

Time flies when you´re having fun, and already tomorrow we are heading back home from this Pearl of the Sea. We totally agree: we love Sri Lanka! It is a beautiful country, so green. But the most beautiful thing about Sri Lanka is it´s people! They are SO welcoming, so warm, so proud of their country, and so willing to share it with you. They are genuinely interested in learning about you and your country, and are eager to make you love their country, like they love it themselves. It is the main reason we both want to come back some day, and continue our exploration of the country. So let me “introduce” a few of the Sri Lankans to you:


We met this 8-year old girl on top of Sigiriya, she was  bit shy, but wanted to practice her English.


And this nice man and his 3-year old daughter on the train to Kandy. They were on a family-outing, and it was his daughter´s very first train-ride.


This is one of three ritual drummers at the Tooth Relic Temple in Kandy.


I haven´t formally been introduced to this man, but shot a snap photo of him while driving in Kandy. In Norway we only have police in the streets if there is an accidents, not normally to regulate traffic. I think he´s looking very sharp in his uniform, making sure all the kids come safely to school!


This nice, young lady we met at the tea-plantation explaining all the different stages and grading in tea-production.


Another woman we just past by, planting rice in a field. There is an amazing flora here, so many fruits and vegetables I´ve never even heard of!


A young couple about to get their wedding-photos taken. May is the main month for marrying in Sri Lanka, and we met several couples in their bridal costumes.


This is Sana, our guide for our tours around the island, and his wife. A very charming and knowledgable man who took very good care of us. He even came around to the hotel to give Anne a bouquet of flowers for her birthday!


Topics: travel | 1 Comment »

Elephants and elephants

By spotogspindel | May 13, 2015

There are 450 working elephants in Sri Lanka, 6000 wild elephants, and thousands upon thousands of images of elephants, be it decorations, sculptures, paintings…


Made of wood, metal, stone… painted, carved, chiseled…


or wax-batic-dyed onto cotton, like below…


Most of them are beautiful, but none can compare to the real thing. Once you´ve met them , you can understand the fascination and inspiration they give for artistic expression.


Visiting the elephant orphanage in Pinnawala, we met dozens of elephants. The youngest ones only about a year, we even got to give them milk from a bottle! (Unfortunately, no photos, only on film)


And after the meal, the all went for a good bath to cool down.


It was quite a sight, the elephants walking freely, splashing around, enjoying themselves.


Yes, we are now also the elephant-ladies, not just the Come-and-Go-girls 😉

Topics: travel | 1 Comment »

Colors of Sri Lanka

By spotogspindel | May 11, 2015

Wandering the streets of Negombo today, photographing the everyday scene of life, and being very inspired by the vivid use of color. Visiting the markets, walking by shops, spening money on yet another sari…


A hindu-temple by the street. With Gods as colorful as this, how can religion be dull? I don´t know much about hinduism, but I know there are thousands of Gods, and they each have a sop-opera of drama connected to them. The elephant t-god in the front is Ganesh, one of the most popular gods, protecting love and marriage among other things.


And the trucks here are awesome! Colors, patterns, ornaments, some added carved and painted wood for extra decoration. The


The sari I didn´t buy… Aqua with gold embroidery and sequins. OMG – what beautiful craftsmanship!


Sri Lanka is already a favorite country of mine. The attitude among people here is SO friendly!, so relaxed and charming, and genuinely friendly. Neighboring country India is so much more intense, almost aggressively attacking every sense you have, crowded with people and beggars, but Sri Lanka is just a place that makes you happy and feel good. I already know that I want to come back here again.


Topics: travel | No Comments »

on the go with the come-and-go girls

By spotogspindel | May 9, 2015

Strange title? Our guide today , when learning our names, found that this is what our names sound like in Singhalese: Anne sounds like “come”, and Janne sounds like “go”. So now we are the Come-and-Go-girls!

Well, today, we´ve pretty much been on the go all day, here are just a few of the things we´ve seen and done.


We started the day visiting the Rock Temple at Dambulla. 5 big, natural caves were transformed into Buddhist temples of worship, filled with Buddha-sculptures around the rooms. And frescos filled the ceilings and walls.


There are some very impressive reclining Buddhas here. And loads of beautiful ornamentation, which I´ll come back to in another post.


Below is Sigiriya, one of the most special places in Sri Lanka. A naturally shaped mountain with caves, and a fort built on the top. 1500 years ago 6000 people lived on and around the top here! There are huge gardens below, fresco-painted caves, and a big pool on the very top of the mountain. And yes, we did go all the 1221 steps to the top.


About half-way up, there are some natural caves. They had been painted with fresco-paintings with portraits of all of the king´s 500 concubines. Some of them have survived centuries of  monsoon rain and weather, and below you can see two of them. All the paints are natural colors from plants and minerals, and they still look gorgeous today.


We rode an elephant part of the way to Sigiriya. Since Anne is a tough woman, who carries a rifle to work, in case a hungry polar bear comes around, I got the honor of sitting in front :-)


Topics: travel | 1 Comment »

Sri Lanka – first impressions

By spotogspindel | May 8, 2015

Summer came early this year! I´m in Sri Lanka with my dear friend Anne. We arrived yesterday, so I only have a couple of random impressions to share with you. All I can say is so far I really like this country!


The man above is hand-embroidered, and I actually saw him in Oslo, before getting on the plane. I think is so beautifully made, I just had to include him.


Beautiful hand-woven cotton shirts with matching sarongs. Loving the bright colors!


An antique door, with intricate metal-work, is decorating the reception at the hotel.


A sailboat used for fishing right outside out room.


Brightly colored  fishing-net at the fish-marked on the beach a couple of hundred years down the beach.


And me. Slightly sunburned and feeling very fortunate. Ready to explore this beautiful country!

Topics: Diverse, travel | 1 Comment »

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