Public Commission I; Light and Shadows (February – March 2018)

art, recent work

It’s not only about 30 square metres of silk, or sacks of wool and nuno felting. It’s also a matter of fibre optics and nifty spotlights, as well as sound absorbents and schoolkids’ maps… Yes, it’s a commission; a public school is being renovated, and “the 1% rule” prescribes that 1% of the budget for a public construction or renovation should be directed to artistic means… so, here we go!

February 7th: this is my first encounter with the actual venue. Downstairs, school is going on as usual – I can hear kids chatting and shouting in the corridors, and the sounds of a ballgame in the schoolyard. Up here, carpenters, electricians, tilers and painters are buzzing around in a complex system of intertwined work processes.

When first presented to the commission, I figured a concept of mapping the school road together with the kids, and rendering their thoughts and feelings into visual objects. Now that I visit the place, I also see potentials in the very light-and-space conditions. Oh, I have to explore this further…

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…this alcove, for instance; what a perfect hangout it would make. I draw a design suggestion for a sitbench, then mail my sketch to Fredriksson the local manager…

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and lo! next time I visit, it’s there!

February 26th: so, thanks to Fredriksson and Mats the carpenter, we have the bench. Now imagine this alcove darker – almost cave-like – and spotted with tiny bright dots… this is where the nuno felting and fibre optics would come in handy. I contact Anna Wahl Gran, who is willing to take on the task of producing the large pieces to cover all the surfaces; walls, ceiling and sitbench. After some detective work, I’m able to purchase a “starry sky” fibre optics set.

March 7th and 8th: two days booked for meeting school classes… but this will be the topic of a separate post. Here’s just a sneak peak of the mapping project:

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Afterwards, I play a bit with torchlights and colour filters along the curved corridor wall. What if the kids moving around here could produce colourful shadows, living images, on that wall… I wonder where to find sturdy build-in spotlights with a distinct, sharp-edged image of light and shadow? And, what would such spotlights cost?

To be continued…

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