Project Description

Did you ever make snowcrystals with paper and scissors as a child?

Did you ever make snowcrystals with paper and scissors as a child?

Did you ever make snowcrystals with paper and scissors as a child? Norwegian-Danish artist Karen Bit Vejle has taken this art form to the extreme, and now she is facing the challenge of a lifetime. Suffering from ME, and exceptionally talented in what is an extremely physically challenging artform Bit is constantly battling her illness in order to achieve her biggest dream.

Ever since she was a little girl, Bit has had an affinity for creating art with paper and scissors, and art form professionally known as psaligraphy. Bit’s delicate, lace like intricate designs create a fairytale world, which seem to magically appear from plain pieces of paper. However, behind each cut of the scissors is an exhausting, time consuming labour intense process. Today Bit is a world leader in her field, but her biggest dream has yet to become reality. An exhibition in China, the homeland of psaligraphy where the tradition has been practiced for thousands of years.

When she finally gets the chance to fulfill this lifelong ambition, tragedy strikes as her battle with her ME intensifies. Desperately fighting what seems to be a loosing battle between the physical demands of her art and her crippling illness, we follow Bit as she battles to complete her comission in time and get well enough to undertake the gruelling journey to China. ME is a dehabilitating illness, and in periods she is bedbound unable to even move, while all the time the clock is ticking and her dream of China slipping away.

Director Gry Molvær Hivju and cinematographer Tor Sivertstøl followed Bit closely over a period of two years, and Director Molvær Hivju wanted this film to be a reflection on the universal fight which we all sometimes face in life. Fighting for something, challenging our own capacities, mentally and physically in order to achieve our goals.

Few people in Europe, and perhaps the world, work with psaligraphy on a level as artistically and technically high as Bit. She has had major exhibitions in the USA, UK and the rest of Europe, as well as developed a close design relationship with Danish global design company Georg Jensen. She has produced especially designed giant paper art for French Fashion house Hermès and excibited at the V&A museum in London.

Bit has an enormous inner strength and expression of boundless artistic energy combined with a debilitating disease which leaves her bedbound. Every day is a struggle between her mind and her body and her enormous creative amibitions. In addition to her mindblowing talent, we are fascinated and inspired by this continous struggle and how she deals with it. Bit herself calls this her inner Bulldog. Like a ballerina, Bit’s art is graceful and light as a feather on the surface, but underneath lies the strength and determination of a Bulldog. ‘Bit – Ballerina Bulldog was nominated best Documentary at BIFF 2015 and the music was nominated for a Gullruten (Norwegian TV awards) for best original score 2016.


Project info


Bit – Ballerina Bulldog

Production company:

Tindefilm as


54 min


Gry Molvær Hivju


Tor Sivertstøl


Hilde Nerland


Kristofer Hivu


Sylvia Strand and Jonathan Gregory