HK's Art Walk 2011 - Meeting
When encountering another human being, I believe the two fundamental questions always are "Who are You?" and "How do I relate to you?"
We're often told Be yourself but is there really a true authentic Myself or is the Me a different creation in every new meeting? Is it possible to deliberately control someone's perception of Me in a meeting?
My idea with this project was to meet the visitor along the art walk through these twelve charachters. All of them have a relationship to me in some way. Who am I and who are the Characters? How do you perceive me after meeting them?
The Characters were placed along the Art walk and each were represented by:
A painted portrait
A text or a poem
An e-mail address (On the original website you could contact them and get a reply. No longer available)
I also set up the website www.kontaktamig.se where the visitors could meet and interact with the characters.
I didn’t receive any definite answers to my questions and I never expected to. I don’t know how I was perceived - I think there were as many versions of Me as there were visitors.
I believe there is no truly authentic Me - The perception is in the eye of the beholder and on the basis of that someones experiences and belief system.
Descartes thesis was “Cogito ergo sum - I think therefore I exist. In my opinion my existence, my Me, depends on someone or something perceiving me.
Violet's Box (2015)
Violet’s box is a narrative ceramic & mixed media project about my great, great grandmother Violet. I wrote a short fictive story as a starting point and the project is an exploration of different clays (BRT, white clay & porcelain) and ceramic processes, throwing, handbuilding/sculpting and a variety of surface treatments. Read the story below.
I want to tell you the story about my great, great Grandmother Violet.
Violet was a lady of best sort, I have been told, or at least until the day she did something that changed it all. In 1820 Violet shocked the little township where she had lived all her life. One fine autumn day she made the decision to leave her four children and husband behind to travel up to the vast forests in the north of Sweden - never to be seen again.
At bedtime every night, when Violet was growing up, her father used to tell her about a very special creature, he had encountered up there in the north.
Her father who as a young man had been working in the deep forests, used to tell her that on this particular day, while walking deep in thought, he had stumbled across a creature.
The creature wasn’t anything like he had seen or heard of before. It was a bird like animal with feathers in all the colours of the rainbow.
The big birdy was stuck in an old rusty fox trap and it was twisting and turning and making a hell of a commotion.
Violet's father stood frozen for quite a while, he could not believe what he was seeing, just in front of his eyes. Later on, nobody else would ever believe him either - nobody but Violet.
When he got himself together, just enough to walk up a little closer to the strange animal, it made a final forceful jerk and escaped. Now, it didn’t get very far before it suddenly stopped, turned around and looked him straight in the eyes, as if it wanted to tell him something. It pointed with the beak to the ground where it was standing and then it just disappeared - vanished in thin air.
Violet’s father walked up to the place where it had been standing and there on the ground was a nest with seven eggs in different shapes and colour. Normally he would consider himself to be down to earth and of sound mental health, but at this point he was seriously questioning himself in this matter. There on the ground he also found a strange feather which he picked up. While he was admiring it he could hear his colleagues calling him in the distance and before he knew it, he was walking beside his mates with the feather in his hand. Unable to recall how he got there at all.
This was the story Violet used to hear every night growing up. Many years later when she was married and a good mother of four children her father came to visit. He was an old man now and his hands were shaking as he handed her a beautiful and peculiar feather.
When he walked down towards the road that night she knew he was dying and that this was to be their last meeting.
I already told you Violet left her family and travelled up north. She disappeared without a trace and was never to be seen again. However, a box was later found deep in the forest with a few of her belongings. The box and it's content has been passed on in my family and I'm showing it to you today.
My father is a hunter and I found an old moose skull lying in his garage. He put it there fifteen years earlier with the good intention to clean it up and turn it into a nice wall piece. I figured it wouldn't happen any time soon and that the remains were better off in my hands. I instantly got visions of how to help the old moose regain some glory. This project was an exploration of the concepts of reincarnation and resurrection.
The skull turned into four pieces: Square, The Philosopher, Glorified & Resurrection.
I used mixed media, bone, wool, concrete, silver, 24 ct gold, steel, pine needle, egg tempera.
I made runic inscriptions and carvings "hällristningar" (hunting motifs from the stone age found on rocks in some parts of Sweden).
Inside Outside (2016)
Inside - Outside is an exploration of the concept inside and outside the box. Many of us like to show up a clean and proper facade whilst keeping our distance and staying safe, we might even be hiding, inside an orderly box. It’s hard for someone else to see what’s behind the surface - our true colours. I placed my white tidily thrown cylinders outside the box, and I punctured them to let the inside seep outside. The content, the passion and potential, rises like fire from a chimney.
To depict my idea I chose to work with clay, wool and wood as they have always been fundamental raw material for us humans. We use them to build shelter and protection as well as materials for containment and clothing - surfaces and boxes to keep us safe and hide behind and inside.
The box shelving is crafted of swamp kauri, the gold of New Zealand native woods. It was one of those rare finds in a second hand shop. I must confess there was somewhat of a resistance and feeling of sacrilege to start painting it white, but then it all made sense, the core behind the white clean surface - a valuable treasure. Hidden but still present...
I spred - accidentally dropped and placed - 100 x 5 kr ($1) coins around HK's artwalk. My intention was to explore how the knowledge about the accesible coins would influence the visitors, once they found out about them.
Would focus change from experiencing nature and art along the walk? Would the visitors try to find them? Was it ok to take them? To what extent would they go to get hold of them? Some were hard to get to.
What do we do for money?
I engraved all coins with words, statements and questions realting to our relationship with money. One lady, who was lucky to find one, got extremely offended by the message and threw it away again.
My work cased a lot of mixed opinions. Some thought it was a big waste of money and others bought themselves a coffee. Most disappeared but a few can still be found.
What would you do for $1?