The process of my work often takes it shape from being part of a single, larger project with no constraints in time or space – specific projects and questions tend to come into being as a result of the working process, not the other way around. However, I keep coming back to an interest in certain terms and their opposites, often expressed in pairs – fragment vs reality, fiction vs reality, movement vs stagnation, recogniseable vs unknown, construction vs disintegration, space vs boundaries; to name a few. As a visual point of departure I use stills taken from TV shows, commercials, youtube clips and random fragments of social media aesthetics. Sources, genres and technical quality are of little importance; the intention is not to portray celebrities or reference specific cases or stories, but rather to convey an impression of something general which can be taken from anywhere and represent anything. These stills become the starting point for a process of reworking and experimenting where the images are put into new constellations, and the fragments that once were part of a story, have been taken out of context to form an infinity of new narratives – that in turn are flexible and open to reworkings and interpretations.
This method of working has resulted in a variety of expressions – paintings on canvas as well as paper (acrylics, watercolour and mixed media); text; drawing; and cross stitch embroidery. A lot of the time I find painting to be the most immediate form of expression to combine two-dimensional fragments, in addition to it bringing up the problematic of abstraction vs figuration or ambiguous vs clear, which I think is interesting. The inclusion of and experimentation with other techniques has partly come about as a means of working with that same problematic – what is more suited to dissolve the image, a drawn line or a painted colour field? A brush stroke? What is more suited to emphasize, make clearer? Or, in the case of text based work – do the words underline something that’s already present, or can they turn the interpretation of the work on its head?
The works involving text usually get their point of departure from quotes in the same way as with the visual stills; everyday banal sentences that could have been uttered by anyone, but gain a different significance once they’re recombined. Sometimes the quotes are combined or integrated with my own written text lines, thus blurring the lines between found and written text further. In general I like to work with language in a way that involves playfulness and often puns, though not necessarily in a comical way, but rather to display the flexibility and vulnerability in the language itself.
For that reason I often find drawing is the easiest medium to combine with text, but I also like combining text with embroidery, either as simple stitches or works where I’ve left the thread out and just poked needle holes through paper. I also use embroidery as a way of «painting» in working with video stills, where every pixel of the original image becomes a cross stitch. This process also highlights the time aspect, as one fleeting, frozen moment is being recreated through a measured, time consuming and labour intensive process.
Dealing with time in different ways then becomes central to everything I do – as well as the overarching idea that the original context of the found images and fragments doesn’t constitute the only framework from which the resulting works must be understood. The subjective individual interpretation must find its legitimate place within art and does not have to coincide with original context or the artist’s intention – none of us hold the key to a definite, true meaning when it comes to art.