1998, Spiraltrappan, Mixed media H67 x D24
How would you describe what you were working on when you were awarded the Maria Bonnier Dahlin Scholarship and what did the scholarship mean to you?
In 1998 I worked with smaller objects and sculptures in various materials and techniques. I worked on a long-term project, Monument, which was a growing candle. On The Academy of Fine Arts' final exhibition in 1998 I showed two works. An installation with large
south shells in which speakers were fitted. The installation was a sound work that played melancholy music. I also showed a poodle cast in aluminum titled Peruuk. The scholarship has meant a great deal. It is a good merit and it is also fun to be noticed then.
What discussions characterized the art scene at this time and what was particularly important you?
Discussions in Sweden revolved around the death of the painting and the then newly built Moderna Museum architecture. To finish my studies at the Royal Institue of Art and begin my artistic work
in my own studio was big for me.
What exhibitions, films and books were important to you and what did you listen to for music?
The Sensation exhibition at the Royal Academy in London in September 1997 with the YBA, played a role for me. There were installations and sculptures by several artists that I think much about. I watched horror movies and psychological thrillers. I listened to a lot different kinds of music, like Mazzy Star, Led Zeppelin and Death Before Disco, which I also named one works (the backbone of the chair) after.
If you would point out any individual person that you perceive as particularly influential in Swedish art at this time, who would it be and why?
Lars O Ericsson was an art critic at Dagens Nyheter and had a great influence in Swedish art at that time. If he wrote good criticism of an exhibition, it could attract a lot of attention for the rewritten artist, and vice versa.
How would you describe the social and political climate that prevailed, and there were some questions or events that particularly affected your work?
I dug into my own background. My personal stories were important to me then as now. Of course, everyone is affected by the social climate in the time you live, but I have a hard time highlighting something specific that would have affected my work at that time. It was a pretty eventful year, 1998. I felt the mood in society as dark and uneasy under the surface.
When you look back and compare the art life then and now, which are the most eye-catching changes?
Art reviews had more space in the newspapers. There were fewer galleries, exhibition rooms and fewer artists. There was a big art fair in Sollentuna where everything business people, art colleges and galleries met at a meeting place. Today it is more widespread. In terms of content, the art has not changed so much. The technology has changed and improved. Better image management and better movie management. It has simplified art production for many artists.
What are you working on today?
I am working on a project I call Jus soli and jus Sanguinis that deal with issues around belonging. The project was started a couple of years ago and has resulted in a great hang textile sculpture, Conjoined Roots, which was shown at Open Art in Örebro in the summer of 2015. Next,
the work is modified and displayed in a constellation with additional works at the Pilane sculpture park summer 2016. These are the works I am working on right now. I also have for several years back
developed a waxing technique for different textile materials, which I continuously investigate.
This is an excerpt from Samlade stipendiater!: 30 år med Maria Bonnier Dahlins stiftelse, by Niclas Östlind, (red.) (2016). Stockholm: Bonnier fakta.