Following a recent public talk between C-print's editor-in-chief and Emma Hartman, relating to her new and fourth solo exhibition at Galleri Andersson Sandström, is an interview in our magazine online departing from the conversation that was had at the gallery venue in Stockholm.
C-P: When your current exhibition was announced, I realized it wasn't particularly long ago in time that your last solo exhibition was presented at the gallery (in 2017) which meant still having it quite fresh in mind. This is your fourth exhibition with Galleri Andersson Sandström and on that note, what is your history with the gallery like, following your graduation from Umeå Art Academy in the mid '00s?
E.H: Around 2010 I had made a series of paintings that I wanted to show and I contacted serveral galleries and Sara and Stefan got back to me, came to my studio and offered me to do a show at their gallery venue in Umeå. So I had my first exhibition with them back in the spring of 2011.
C-P: The exhibition title is "Murmurs" which defines as the sorf of physical sound in your surroundings that is loud enough to perceive but low enough to sort of seamlessly blend in with and amid other sounds. It brings to mind the notion of nature itself as a physical being and the life it leads irrespective of human presence. What does the title signify to you and how does it serve as a lead-in to the works?
E.H: I like the way you read it. Murmurs also means a type of sound your heart makes and I like that it has this double meaning. The word itself refers to the outside world as you said but also to the inside of us and our bodies and that’s how I think it relates to my work.
C-P: These two last exhibition relate very closely thematically in so far there are allusions to natural and scenic landscapes. In my mind it's not been super literal as though depicting something very clearly and rather coming across as displays found in an intersection between the abstract and figurative, although when I was showing a friend some images from the show he felt the works staunchly were depictive which at first surprised me a little. To me I guess, allusions rather than depictions. Your works beg the question; what is your own rapport with nature like?
E.H: To me my paintings are about a metaphysical experience with colour. I wish I could say I’m the real outdoorsy typeof person but that would be a lie. I do have a real appreciation for it though and spend a lot of time thinking and dreaming about woods that I’ve been to or hills I’ve been climbing or moments when I’ve been standing looking out over fields or seas.
C-P: Reading your works from a point of perspective of the now and today; there will likely always be people assuming that you are making certain kind of almost politically underpinned statements about use and preservation of natural resources, natural disasters and climate change. Do you get that a lot from people? And how do you relate to your work in regard to this?
E.H: No, I don’t actually. My strongest connection is in fact with colour and that’s what drives my work and evokes my paintings.
C-P: Prior in time you were painting rather than natural exteriors; spatial interiors and rooms with paralell perspectives. How did you get from there to here? What prompted the change?
E.H: The change came from within me. I stopped longing for these rooms and felt that my studio should be a place where I do whatever springs to mind. I opened up the horizons so to speak, and the floors and ceilings went with that too and now I had a new path to tread on.
C-P: An interesting feature in the exhibition is an installation of three panels on the floor relating back to a painting mounted above on the wall. I thought this felt bold; judging from the overall batik-like aesthetical expression of the four parts of the installation but also felt the approach to go towards installation was a surprise element that I would not have expected. Tell me about the considerations there?
E.H: It’s a three dimensional work called "Laid" and when I was invited to do this exhibition I knew straight away I wanted to show it in the smaller of the two gallery rooms. It’s the first thing you see as you enter the gallery and I take bold as a great compliment because I was interseted in the greater dynamics of the show.
C-P: I'm curious to know what you yourself find interesting in contemporary painting internationally today in 2019. What excites you?
E.H: What excites me at the moment is seeing a lot of collages and textiles again in art, and excting overall is the real mixture of expressions found side by side.
C-P: Lastly, what is next in store for you in 2019 and the rest of the year?
E.H: I’ll be getting back in to my studio and then will take it from there.
Emma Hartman's exhibition "Murmurs" is on view at Galleri Andersson Sandström through Feb 16
Images courtsy of the gallery and the artist