Dressed in clay
Polish Center of Sculpture in Oronsko
Artist in Residence – Studio production
Hallands Art Museum shop
Dressed in clay
Dressed in clay is a series of nostalgic objects with inspiration from natural shapes in the nature preserve in the little seaside village where I grew up. I have always been inspired by the mystical trees there and their ability to adapt and survive even in the harshest of surroundings, away from their natural environment, shaped after years and years surviving the salty winds from the sea.
In the 1800s farmers in many coastal locations in southern Sweden planted pine trees with the aim to provide protection against wind-driven sand. It was actually the coastal farmers themselves who caused the drifting sand by letting their animals constantly go grazing and trampling along the foreshore.
Today you will still find these planted pines, by the sea behind the sand dunes, spread out in a dry and crackly world amongst lingonberries, crowberries, heather and lichens on the ground. For decades, the winds have forced these scrawny pines down to the ground, over time creating magical formations setting your imagination in motion. These pine trees, with trunks so crooked that they sometimes even bend themselves over into a knot, are commonly referred to as troll pines. Together they form a whole world of natural sculptures.
Growing up in a seaside village close to one of these troll forests I have always been fascinated by the magic of the forest and the trees’ ability to adapt and survive despite the harsh vegetation and the salty winds that they have endured for decades.
Dressed in clay is an homage to the windswept enchanted forest where I used to play as a child. It is a range of lamps, hooks, candle holders, mirrors and shelf brackets whose various crooked and twisted forms together create a troll forest in miniature. All the items in the series are made of clay to recreate the twists and turns to the breaking point that the troll pines are characterized by. Each object being handmade is a symbol of the uniqueness of each tree.
When you walk around in the troll forest you can almost feel like every tree has been shaped from clay rather than hard, compact wood. Hence the name ”dressed in clay”.
This project was developed during an artist-in-residence at the Polish centre of sculpture in Oronsko 2016. Read more about it at the Oronsko blog.