Currently being presented in two parallel running exhibitions by the Swedish Association of Art (SAK) at Konstakademien in Stockholm are artists Liva Isakson Lundin and Joakim Heidvall. In the first, works of both are shown that make part of SAK's 2017 acquisitions for its annual draw, while the second of two exhibitions presents as a two-person presentation juxtaposing the two artists' respective work. C-print catches up with both, inquiring into their work on view.
Liva Isakson Lundin
C-P: What are some of the things that informs your work and serve as a point of departure for it?
L.I.L: My main source of inspiration is materials and their possible functions and problems. I see my work as a positioning of tension and a line of experiments that the exhibition context is an extension of. The installation becomes a situation where the materials are exposed to each others properties, the room and my attempts to control. Artworks from other artists that have been important to me are for example Beth Laurin’s Del 1, Richard Serra’s Verb-list, Rachel Whiteread’s House and Gordon Matta Clark’s Splitting.
C-P: Congratulations on your ongoing two-person exhibition at Konstakademien in Stockholm. While visiting the exhibition I had the feeling of really seeing something that visually was marked by unity and coherence, and it felt like a very well-considered union of two artists. In what ways do you feel like there is a kinship between what you are both presenting in the exhibition?
L.I.L: From the beginning I was going to show older works in this exhibition. But after looking more at pictures of Joakim’s work and discussing with Jennie Fahlström who curated the show, I was inspired to do something new. I think I found a rhythm in Joakim's paintings that I could relate to and recognize from some early sketches of my works Peel, Shear, Tensile which I was working on in my studio at the moment. So a particular connection is that my sculptures were developed with Joakim’s Corona in mind. Apart from that I think that our work has points of alignments in terms of appearing like paused movements, and by the use of rubber materials as a cohesive force that defines the position of a possible body.
C-P: Stretching back to art school and leading up to the present, what has the artistic development of your work been like?
L.I.L: When I went to Gerlesborgsskolan, I worked mostly with drawing and some animation. During my first years at the Royal Institute of Art I kept on with making video loops and smaller sculptures. My work Vibrissae, which is in the show Till konsten – tro, hopp, tvivel och kärlek, and also presented by SAK at Konstakademien, is a part of my first bigger installation that I finished for my BA exhibition in 2014. That work was an important starting point for me. It made me think about room, material and functionality in new ways. I found things to continue with that has led to where I am now in my artistic practice. I started to work with the properties of steel as a material; taking an interest in how it could bend from its own weight and how different kinds of steel would feather back into its original shape or deform. Parallel with that I also started experimenting with soft and elastic materials such as latex and gelatine.
C-P: What's next in line for you for rest of the year and in 2018?
L.I.L: The rest of 2017 will consist of a lot of work and preparations. During the spring of 2018 I will have a solo show at Ahlbergshallen in Östersund in collaboration with Härke Konstcentrum. In the beginning of the fall I will have a solo exhibition at Wetterling Gallery.
C-P: From your perspective how you do view your own artistic practice?
J.H: Painting has always been my primary entry into art and my practice is aligned with the history and trajectory of painting. I mainly find myself working in the vein of the Post-impressionists. However, not in so far as the stylistic influences or motifs are concerned but rather on the basis of my working along the lines of gradually allowing depictions of nature to evolve into something of its own. Simillarly, the Post-impressionists looked back at the course of Art history whilst being strongly influenced by quotidian realities. I obviously don't mean to compare myself to any noted Post-impressionist but I do find this tradition of working to be a rewarding one, and one which is no longer so commonplace the way it once was. There's something about this academic idea that it might just be good to learn how to draw before getting around to painting...
Photo: Miriam Bensafiddine
C-P: Congratulations on the two-person exhibition at Konstakademien. In what ways do you feel like there is a kinship between Liva Isakson Lundin's artistry and your own, in terms of being presented together in this fashion?
J.H: Thank you! For our work to intersect this way, is the single stroke of command of Jennie Fahlström at SAK and it's obvious now that me and Liva in many ways are seated in the same wavelength with the presented works. I would like to point to being related when it comes to directions and inherent tension. And while I've only seen her series of work Inwards from 2016 on images, I can feel a strong connection with it.
C-P: What has the artistic development of your work been like since art school?
J.H: With time I think I've reached a stronger faith and allowance in letting my painting speak for itself. I've stopped trying to make something intricate and generally aim at thinking as little as possible while in the midst of painting.
C-P: What lies ahead for your art and practice?
J.H: I'm heading out into the woods with the easel for as long as that is possible until it gets cold...
The exhibition Elaster with works by Joakim Heidvall and Liva Isakson Lundin, presented by SAK (The Swedish Art Associaton) at Konstakademien (Jakobsgatan 27C) in on view through October 8.