The title “Ett Hem” which translates to “A Home” refers to the title of a book released by Carl Larsson in 1899 in which illustrations of their home and family life were published and distributed internationally. The bold decoration; the innovative use of colour, the modern furniture and textile design created by the couple became the model for Swedish domestic design. The Larsson ideal, unpretentious and family orientated, carried out in small light rooms economically furnished has come to epitomise Swedish style. These ideals fit in with modern conditions and life and had an impact on the creation of Folkhemmet, the People’s Home a social housing reform that took place in the 30s-70s, as well as IKEA, who reference the couple as a strong historical reference in their design.
Their home can be seen in the context of the Art and Crafts movement and how in a time of great social change, solutions for improving and enhancing everyday life was sought through design and architecture.
Parallels can be drawn with society today. It is interesting that in this volatile economic situation there has been an upsurge for sustainable living, do it yourself, crafts, going back to basics and TV programs promoting innovative architecture as well as relocating to the countryside. With many young families stuck in negative equity the home is again a contentious subject.
The work in this exhibition celebrates the handmade, the colour and graphic designs found in Karin Larsson’s furniture and textile work as well as in Swedish folk art. Members from Swedish Women’s Education Association (SWEA) are displaying examples of their handicrafts in the upstairs gallery, reflecting the rich Swedish tradition of handicraft or “hemslöjd”.
Rather than attempting to provide a unified prescription or theory to the complex relationship between art and craft, the show aims to bring people together, functioning as communicative gesture. This gestural invitation, through color, form, texture and shape; invites the viewer to enter a space and conversation, where this relationship may begin to further unfold.
Veronica Forsgren is a Swedish born artist and curator based in Dublin with a MA degree in Visual Arts Practices from the IADT, Dun Laoghaire (MAVIS).
She has exhibited nationally and internationally, notably art@work (residency organised by Roscommon County Council Arts Office), Preponderance of The Small (The Douglas Hyde Gallery) and Apocalypse When? (Dublin Fringe Festival). In 2011 she set up and organised a contemporary art gallery for children as well as curated the main gallery space at the Riverbank Arts Centre, Newbridge Co. Kildare.
Forsgren’s practice employs play as a method for exploring and learning, to better understand ideas of identity, location and social structures. Inspired by folk art, craft, religious iconography and popular culture the work is created using a variety of mediums such as performance, video, installation, sculpture, embroidery, costume making, painting and collaboration. Context and location is important in informing and shaping the work. Underlying the work is the wish to create socially engaging pieces that in a very subtle way can make an impact. For example the art works may encourage the audience to slow down and reflect, engage or smile momentarily, a tactic the artist refers to as “soft activism”.
Featuring work by invited members from SWEA (Swedish Women’s Educational Association) in the First Floor Gallery. This exhibition is accompanied by a text by Dr. Lisa Godson.