Architerior interviewed the cool artist Lotta Grimborg who shared some of the stories behind her textile sculptures and gave an insight into her art life.
Lotta, tell me a bit about your education
I have a Bachelor in Fine Arts from Konstfack University of Arts, Crafts and Design in Stockholm. But before that I was self-taught you could say. I’ve been sewing and making things as long as I can remember. I started my art studies pretty late when I was 23 when I went to the metal department at the art school Nyckelviksskolan for one year. It’s interesting how I started with metal and ended up working with textiles, which is kind of the opposite.
Where do you live / practice?
I’m born in Borås in the west coast of Sweden but have been based in Stockholm since 2010. In 2014 I started the collective studio space, Perspektivet, together with 8 other people from different creative backgrounds. For example I’m sharing a space with one person making furniture and lamps, a mask-maker who works for the Royal Opera in Stockholm and a jewellery artist. That’s where I am based now, in the south of Stockholm.
Describe your art style: materials, forms, colours. Do you have preferences?
By the first look I think that my aesthetics can be perceived as loud and childish, with a strong register of colours from red to pink. Humour is an important, but also tricky weapon for me when I create objects that by the look ferments and floods. But under the surface you will find a deeper meaning. That’s why I love to work with the surface, manipulate it, faking it. During the last two years I’ve been working with the aesthetics of the female surface, I call it the feminine masquerade. I’ve transferred materials and shapes strongly connected to femininity from the female body onto objects. That process has resulted in sculptures and installations made of pantyhose, silicone, silk, high heels, nail polish and spandex. In my work I’m always interested in the body and its complexity, it’s physical and social layers.
How come you started with art/design?
It took me some years before I understood that textile is my media. But for me art and crafts has always been a part of my life. From when I was around 12 years old and my Mum and I went to fashion shows and to furniture fairs. I was so inspired by the tactility in materials, colours and shapes; I was a real hoarder of materials and inspiration booklets. I think I re-arranged my room every other week, inspired by all the interior magazines my Mum had, making all different kinds of wall decors. But it was first in 2010 that I understood that I could actually work with this. Since then I’ve been occupied with making things full-time.
Where have you mainly exhibited your work? Can you mention a few exhibitions or moments in your career that have been important to you?
I’m really in the beginning of my arts career since I took my BA in 2015, but for example my work has been exhibited in gallery Spazio Rossana Orlandi in Milan during the design week, at Galleri Marzee in Holland and in a parking lot space during the exhibition Taking Space in Stockholm. Last summer I had my first solo show in my hometown. But I think that the most important show so far has been my exam project, My Body is not Your Canvas, exhibited at The Spring Show at Konstfack. Dealing with femininity as a social mask. That was my first completed body of work that really showed my aesthetics and had a strong storytelling. I worked with it for a whole year and really learned how to work against a deadline.
So what makes you want to continue to create?
For me it’s a lifestyle that doesn’t have an on and off button. If I don’t create I feel a lack of something, it’s like my hands always want to be occupied with something. I love the way a thread can become a three-dimensional form, and how a two dimensional idea can become a large-scale sculpture. I love to be in the process, that’s when you get to experiment with materials, colours and ideas. For me the process is always more important than the end result. That’s why I always tend to start with three different projects at the same time, which can be confusing.
What are your goals regarding your art/design?
Well, in the near future my goal is to have a Master in Textiles. I’m so eager to learn new techniques; I want to learn how to make rugs and how to weave. And I think I most likely will move between art and design, both making commissions and everyday products but also exhibit internationally. I’m also working as a curator now in a project called Krafta! that I started with my dear friend and colleague Katarina Frifarare. We want to create new spaces for craft to be exhibited and arrange craft-battles and workshops for a wider audience. One of my goals for 2017 is to make Krafta! an obvious, vibrant and available platform for crafts.
Is there any work that means extra much to you?
My Trophy wives. I made the first one during my third year at Konstfack and it took me three weeks to make the silicone mould. But they turned out even better than I imagined. The base is exactly the same in each one of them, made out of pewter and yasmonite. But then I’ve been manipulating the surface, adding layers and colours. For me they have become living characters. And I’m not sure how I will react when I sell them, but I will really miss to have them around.
Photos: Lotta Grimborg
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