What is it that makes a person love a color, that certain nuance make the heart soar? While another color can seem like sand in your shoe.
IT BEGAN WITH “THE GRAPHIC EFFECT”
Working with black and white is easy, the choices are very finite, the graphic effect is immediate, and the margin for error is wide. While black and white can have that cool elegance, there can exist a tougher, urban feel as well. I, personally, have a proclivity for that very “black and white” style, and some of my first quilts were made in those tones. Following that came some black and blue ones, then red and white, and then I just had to go further…
But that step of adding color, sometimes too much color, was a big one. For me, the whole color-thing was a question of maturity. Working with the full range of colors was scary in a way..
EXPLORING BLACKNESS AND GREY SUITS THE NORDIC MENTALITY
Here, in the northern parts of the world, we have always been careful when using color. It is as if the stark climate and muted colors of our natural scenery has a dampening effect. The Lutheran heritage makes itself known here: never add too much, don’t stand out more than necessary. It is in our history. Here, art, architecture, design and fashion, have often been more modest and less ostentatious in its execution than on the continent; baroque, rococo, and empire style were all significantly more toned down to match Swedish sensibilities.
We know the greys of the misty November morning, and the shadows of the lingering twilight in summer are well known to us. Personally, I have spent a lot of time in the Swedish archipelago and I love the sparse, sculptural landscape. The continental glaciers rounded down the bedrock, and now stone, plants, and water mirrors create inspirational natural installations. Here you can find hundreds of shades of black, white, and grey, with some hints of yellow lichen and purple chive or rosehip.
MY FATHER WAS A PHOTOGRAPHER. HE MOSTLY WORKED IN BLACK AND WHITE
At the start of his professional career, he often emphasized the contrasts within the picture. The black and white photograph lives within the spectrum of the black and the white, the light and the dark. Turning up the contrast enhances the graphic effect, and many of my favorite photographs come from this very period. Twice now, we have been in joint-exhibitions, and it is remarkable how well his photographs and my textiles work together. Both of us have worked with the spectrum of light and dark.
NOW, ABOUT THE COLOR…
I have traveled to Rajasthan in India twice. Here you find large bright deserts, and within that monochrome landscape women wear the most intense, pigmented of colors. It is as if that land, devoid of color, has made the people yearn for stronger sensory experiences, and Rajasthany textiles can be almost brutal in their intensity.
I have experienced it in my own work with textiles. The black and white, the greys, in the end they create a need for more visual expressions, and that is when I want color. It is like the movement of a pendulum; the careful exploration of nuance takes turns with that search for colors that make the heart soar.