sky, soil, silk II: impressions

art, grayzone, recent work

Days are overcast, light is sparse; the sun hasn’t been visible for one single hour in December, so far. I’m dyeing with nature’s materials: leaves and dry petals, roots and a hint of rust. These samples are no final results, rather trial-and-error attempts. I am much indebted to Lina Sofia Lundin and her book Naturlig färgning (“Natural dyeing“) – thank you Lina Sofia!

In the end, I hope to achieve a visible memory of wintery Scandinavian soil and sky, recorded in the thinnest of fibres. These silk imprints/paintings are to be exhibited next year, when spring bursts into summer, in a very distant place: the Sankeien Garden of Yokohama. More about this next time…

Map borrowed from the Sankeien Garden Guidebook; site photo kindly provided by Ms. Toshiko Watanabe.

The Meeting

art, grayzone, recent work

Another invitation; another collaboration. At Kulturcentrum Järna, Rudolf Steiner’s mystery dramas will be performed during a five-day event, and a correspondent exhibition engages a number of people from the local arts and crafts scene. Nigel Wells (Virbela Flowforms), Eva-Karin Planman, Sigrid Winkler and I go for co-creating an installation. We choose a space – much like a bridge – where a staircase and two galleries connect with the upper entrance of the large auditorium. The place is central, narrow, open. Nigel makes measurements and sketches. All four of us bring in different components to the process: concepts, such as revelation, playfulness, light, body, image; references – the lamps hanging aloft under the ceiling, the dramatic theme; suggested materials like textiles, water, sand… I could see triangular crystal prisms in the large window facing due west. Mud, says Sigrid, there has to be mud. So, we prepare mudwater from the modelling clay in the workshop of Virbela. We cut and dip fifty metres of nonwoven fabric, and find a drying place in my studio.

Nigel cuts wooden pieces for the frame, Eva-Karin paints them. We calculate and drill holes for the wires. Then comes the mounting; twenty-four prisms hanging in the window, the frame put together and installed. And finally, attaching the veils.

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There it is. A breathing body, a light-and-shadow labyrinth, a crossroads; the Meeting.

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