Photo: slow creations

Photo: slow creations
Threads of life

måndag 21 januari 2013

Slow art exhibition in Stockholm

Mafune Gonjo (b 1984). Beauty has a thorn. 2008. Glass, metal, cotton
Shown at Slow Art, Nationalmuseum, Stockholm

Photo © slow creations

Things are maybe getting better! There is something going on… slowly and strongly... Concepts like slow art, slow fashion and so on are gaining more recognition, concepts and principles that is very far away from the consumption stress and hectic life-styles of many of us. Maybe somewhat provocative for some people, these concepts are about choosing to live with respect for our environment and our planet, choosing to use your hands, materials and time of your life, for maybe weeks, months or years to make one piece of art.

One of the most creative and important artists in this field is American-born Abigail Doan who at the beginning of this year wrote "Slowing down is ironically a better way for me to examine my ideas about what seems essential for making headway in the studio and beyond." in her always fascinating and beautiful blog

I would like to pay attention to an amazing, immensely well-curated exhibition at Nationalmuseum in Stockholm, Sweden. It ends on Sunday February 3rd so you would better hurry (if you are in town). I saw information about it when it opened last autumn, but nevertheless, I ironically ended up hurrying to see Slow Art just the other day... Nationalmuseum is going to close for well-needed renovations (for some years) and the house is filled with eager visitors of all ages. The atmosphere when I was there was warm and nice.

Slow Art, Nationalmuseum. Light by Gert Ove Wågstam
Photo © slow creations

The exhibition Slow Art shows almost 30 pieces made of silver, textile, glass, paper and ceramics, most picked from the collections, and "celebrates a contemporary movement in fine craft where technique, materials and the work process are considered especially important". And it really lives up to that. Most of us cannot imagine how much time is needed to make these pieces. The immense skill, and patience, that was need in making them, is paired with exquisite eye for creation. That is, I mean, they are not only well done, so to speak. The works are poetic and evokes feelings like tenderness for life´s fragility and evanescent beauty but also of strength and often, even more astonishing, all of this at the same time.

The curator, Ph D Cilla Robach, has done the most when picking out and juxtaposing the objects, some of them shown without show-case. She also seem to have a deep understanding for the creative process judging from the labels and the catalogue that, besides being sold, is very generously free to down-load here (in Swedish). There is also an app in connection to the exhibition.

Eva Hild (b 1966). Ceramic shapes no 2. 2000 .
Helena Hörstedt (b 1977). Broken Shadow. 2008. Silk, leather.
Slow Art, Nationalmuseum, Stockholm. Photo © slow creations

Among the artists are Helena Hörstedt, Mafune Gonjo, Eva Hild, Helena Edman, Sebastian Schildt, Helena Sandström, Annika Ekdahl, Pasi Välimaa, Gunilla Lagerhem Ullberg and Karen Bit Vejle.  

Gunilla Lagerhem Ullberg (b 1955). Images. Herbarium, 2011. Petals, glue . Slow Art, Nationalmuseum, Stockholm. 
Photo © slow creations

My "old" favourite, Finland-born Pasi Välimaa, is contributing with an embroidery that took him about a year to create, working on it now and then. I think Pasi Välimaa is a perfect example of slow art!

I really encourage everyone to visit Nationalmuseum and I am looking forward to more exhibitions in the future curated by Cilla Robach. 

In a later post I will try to explore my own relation to "slow" which is something I work with in my own way, to challenge my impatience and keep me grounded.

Pasi Välimaa (b 1968). Embroidery. 2001. Cotton, linen. Slow Art, Nationalmuseum, Stockholm. 
Photo © slow creations

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