Hedersporträtt 2021 Carl Bildt Gripsholms slott

Portrait of Honour 2022

The 2022 Portrait of Honour depicts the artist Britta Marakatt-Labba, known around the world for her embroidered images of Sami landscapes with both a poetic and a political message. The portrait is the work of Marja Helander, whose photographs of Sami landscapes, people and culture have won multiple awards.

The portrait

Born in 1951 at Idivuoma, Karesuando, in the far north of Sweden, Britta Marakatt-Labba grew up alongside nine siblings. As a child, she loved collecting pebbles and playing with them. Little did anyone know then that she would grow up to be a world-renowned artist working in textiles, watercolours, graphics, illustration, costume and even set design. She studied at the School of Design and Crafts (HDK) in Gothenburg (1974–78) and at the Sámi University of Applied Sciences in Kautokeino (1999–2002).

Marakatt-Labba has been the recipient of numerous prestigious awards. In 2014 she received an honorary doctorate from the faculty of arts at Umeå University. She also holds an honorary doctorate from the faculty of art, music and design at the University of Bergen. She has been awarded the Prince Eugen Medal (2020), the Stig Dagerman Prize (2019), the John Savio Award (2017), the Illis quorum medal (2017), the Per Gannevik scholarship (2015) and the Rubus Arcticus scholarship (2000). In recent years she has taken part in exhibitions at several prominent international venues: Documenta 14 in Kassel and Athens (2017), the Venice Biennale (2022), Ikon Gallery in Birmingham (2022) and the Southern Alberta Art Gallery in Lethbridge, Canada (2021/22).

Wielding needle and thread on fabric with great skill and precision, Marakatt-Labba creates unique pictorial narratives of everyday Sami life. She addresses topical issues such as reindeer herding, hunting, fishing, forestry, the mountain environment, free movement and land rights. She rarely draws a preliminary sketch of her works. Human figures, animals, buildings and scenery intuitively find the right place and combine to form meditative narratives, art that asks serious and difficult questions.

The artist

The Portrait of Honour is the work of Marja Helander, a contemporary artist who has gained an international reputation for her works depicting Sami nature, landscapes, people and culture. Helander’s photographs and films are represented in several art collections in Scandinavia, Canada and Germany. Her latest short film, Áfruvvá (2022), premiered as part of the extended programme for the Sami pavilion at the Venice Biennale.

After visiting the Swedish National Portrait Gallery at Gripsholm Castle, touring the galleries and studying the artworks, Helander became fascinated by the long history of portraiture. She realised the importance of creating a work with a clear connection to the portrait collection. She and Marakatt-Labba drove for many miles around Övre Soppero until they finally found the perfect snow-covered location for the portrait.

Discover the portrait gallery

The Swedish National Portrait Gallery is the world's oldest national portrait gallery. This is also one of the world's largest portrait galleries, and currently includes approximately 5,000 works, mostly oil paintings, of which Gripsholm Castle houses more than 800.

This year marks the bicentenary of the Swedish National Portrait Gallery, founded in 1822. It is managed by Nationalmuseum.

Hedersporträtt 2021 Carl Bildt Gripsholms slott

Click for enlarged image. © Marja Helander, Britta Marakatt-Labba (born 1951). Portrait of Honour 2022, Swedish National Portrait Gallery at Gripsholm Castle.

Press contact

Hanna Tottmar, Nationalmuseum, press@nationalmuseum.se, 08-5195 4400 


Visit us

You can walk around Gripsholm Castle by yourself, but taking a guided tour can make your visit extra special.

Read more
Childrens Gripsholm Open today 10.00-16.00

Dungeons, armouries, canons, a stuffed lion. Hundreds of portraits, following you with their eyes down the winding corridors... bring you...

Read more


Semmy Stahlhammer (violin), Atida Munthe Stahlhammer (cello) and Greta Åstedt (piano) will perform classical pieces on a summer's evening...

Bellman Day 28 Jul

On 28 July, Bellman Day will be celebrated at Gripsholm Castle with a concert in Hjorthagen and Bellman tours at the castle. This traditi...


Gripsholm Castle will host a world-famous youth orchestra consisting of thirty young musicians hand-picked from the northern Netherlands.


Discover more at Gripsholm Castle

Rooms and halls, Gripsholm Castle Open today 10.00-16.00

Gripsholm Castle boasts a unique collection of furniture and artworks spanning four centuries. Built in the 1500s, it was part of a new s...

Read more

Gripsholm Castle is home to the world's oldest national portrait gallery. This is also one of the world's largest portrait galleries, and...

Read more

Welcome to a boutique that is something out of the ordinary. The Royal Gift Shop at Gripsholm Castle is a unique present and souvenir sho...

Read more

A wander through the leafy castle park is like taking a walk through history. There have been many gardens over the ages here, and apples...

Read more

Since the 1600s the deer field has been a pasture land belonging to the Gripsholm Royal Farm. Today it is a nature reservation with hundr...

Read more
Gripsholms' History Open today 10.00-16.00

The palace gets its name from one of the personalities of medieval Sweden, Bo Jonsson Grip, by whom the first Castle was built in the sec...

Read more

Articles and movies

This summer's Music at Gripsholm series of concerts features classical music as established musicians and artists perform in the castle's...

Read more

The summer season at the Royal palaces begins in May. This is when several of the summer palaces – where royalty have spent many spring a...

Read more

Gripsholm Castle, where Sweden’s famous faces can be seen, is open daily from May. The castle is home to the country's largest portrait c...


Customer service

Opening hours: Closed