Norwegian Brands in 2003 can be characterised as an interaction between traditional Norwegian products, production methods and quality standards with a particular kind of innovation - based on an increasingly significant awareness of contemporary design, the arts and consumer needs and trends.
Recent photographic works by Anglo-Norwegian photographer, Lill-Ann Chepstow-Lusty serve to document and highlight the pervasiveness of this focus. Chepstow-Lusty's preoccupation with the Vikings - as logo, myth, symbol and perhaps most surprisingly as ongoing cultural heritage - began five years ago. In the year 2000 she showed her first works from this project, at an exhibition that was part of the city of Oslo's millennium celebrations. For these initial works her lens captured shops and logos that drew on Viking times yet simultaneously represented a part of modern society, such as 'Viking Kebab'. Chepstow-Lusty has subsequently continued to explore the Viking theme and the results can now be seen on exhibition at the Viking Ship Museum in Oslo. Chepstow-Lusty has travelled the world, documenting Viking festivals and practices still very much alive in historical remnants of the Viking's travels throughout Europe, from Spain, Poland and the Shetlands to the USA. Her fascinating, visual documentation of the living traces of the Viking era provide an insight into a culture that has influenced much of the Western world. She has published a book entitled Absolutt Viking containing these works and her photographs are accompanied by quotations chosen by Ivar Eskeland, from the Norse Sagas. The widespread fascination with the Viking heritage found in these images serves as a vibrant example of Norwegian traditions finding a new niche in contemporary culture.