• Idun Baltzersen: She Explores the Boundaries Between Craft and Art

    Written by Marie Brunnberg

    Edited by Marge Grossfeld.

    The Norwegian artist Idun Baltzersen carves her drawings into plywood, which she then prints on textile sheets. The idea came to her during her master studies in art at Konstfack (University College of Art, Crafts and Design), when she found a corner with old building materials in the workshop.

    Her motifs are independent teenage girls who turn their backs to the viewer. Idun Baltzersen is especially inspired by high school movies and the cult around them.
    I meet Baltzersen at Konstakademin (The Royal Academy of Fine Arts) in Stockholm, where she shows me her ongoing exhibition “Övergångsriter” (Transition rites).

    She comes straight from her atelier when I meet her in one of the exhibition halls. She tells me that she has been sketching all day for the forthcoming exhibition “Dialogue in drawing”, at Uppsala Art Museum beginning May 27th.
    – It will be an installation of quick drawings, I have just started so I can’t say more.
    She is happy about working in a smaller format this time. Her eyes get so tired of all the detail work when she works in large sizes and her hands hurt a lot.
    – I think it was hard when I created my big work on the wall there.
    She points to her grandiose textile collage that requires the entire wall surface in the gallery. I ask how she technically made that work.
    – I carve each drawing individually in factory-format plywood boards. Then I print these on textiles, one by one. All the prints I sew together into an enormous sheet of fabric.
    This is done with an obvious finish and I ask her how important the aesthetics are to her. She explains that she likes spontaneity but in controlled forms. She knows what feeling she seeks from the start.

    She says she likes portraying young independent women, but I think I see a guy in the collage in front of me.
    Who is that? I ask and point at him.
    – Oh, that's my man, she says. He is also an artist.
    Did you two meet each other at Konstfack?
    – No, actually online, she replies. Tinder.

    All her works are not black and white. When we walk through the exhibition room, she shows me some older work with colors, they are not as dramatic as the other ones. I see horse girls and I ask if she used to ride when she was a teenager. She explains that her sister did and that she has been watching her many times.

    To what degree do you plan your artwork?
    IB: I plan the individual parts quite carefully, but when I put together all the different figures, it can be very spontaneous.

    Have you been practicing woodcutting for a long time?
    IB: No, not actually, I was sketching before. A few years ago when I wanted to work in a larger format I discovered that when I went up in size, it became very difficult with the paper because it broke down. Then I found a plywood board, and it felt more natural to carve in it than to draw on it. The idea came very naturally to me - I already had the technical skills, with a Bachelor degree in Printmaking from Bergen, in Norway.

    How do you decide the titles of your work?
    IB: I try to find something that describes my thoughts about the work, but I'm not good at titles actually. I find one that I like and then I do ten versions of it. I am often inspired by individual words from poetry or Norwegian pop music. I like a pop singer called Kaja Gunnufsen very much.

    You are fascinated by young women, heroines and martyrs. Have you read many such books?
    IB: Yes, these stories are everywhere. Everyone has to go through the teen years, there is something that affects everyone and there is so much fun around it too. I like to watch high school movies, I think the stories are exciting. In my art I make my own addition to that cult; I make the teenage girls more monumental and authoritarian.

    What High School movie do you like the most?
    IB: I especially like one called “Heaters” (1988).

    How much of you is in your art?
    IB: A lot. I relate to all of this even though I'm outside the teenage years now. It was a defining period for me as a human being and there are flashbacks in my own life that I experience as exciting.
    My own craftsmanship is also a very central part of my work. I want to do everything myself. That’s really important to me.

    Why is that?
    IB: It's all about presence. That everything is handmade and that there are different materials that do not necessarily come from a traditional art store, but rather from construction stores and IKEA, which I then process in different ways.

    You participated in the Market Art Fair 2017. Did you sell anything?
    IB: I did. I exhibited four works, of which three were sold to three private collectors. I sold the pieces that were a bit smaller. Not my biggest one.

    Can you survive on your art?
    IB: Yes, I get scholarships – mostly Norwegian ones. There are many scholarships available in Norway.
    I received a Swedish scholarship from Konstakademin including this exhibition and a studio for one year. But now it's about to end. Fortunately, I have found a new studio.

    Do you see any trends in the art world today?
    IB: I notice that there are many more craftsmen - that's a huge difference. When I studied graphics it was a part of the department of artisan crafts with textiles and ceramics. Then you noticed that there was a little lower status compared to those who were doing “free art”. Now, it has really changed. There are a lot of ceramics that you can see in exhibitions today.

    How many artists have studios here at Konstakademin?
    IB: Not many. I share one with Anna-Karin Rasmusson and then Helene Billgren has a studio here too. But otherwise I do not meet so many other artists.

    It's Friday afternoon and we do not see any people at all. I don’t have the conscience to use her time any longer. I say that I love to see her atelier before I go and nice as she is she invites me up.
    In the corridor we pass a skylift. She says she will get her own skylift driver's license as soon as possible. She wants to be able to put up her large work herself whenever she wants to.

    You don’t like being depended on others?
    IB: Nope.

  • photography by ASGER MORTENSEN

    Stine Goya

    Written by Chava Krivchenia by Sandra Myhrberg

    Behind the patterns at Stine Goya

    She seems to have been born with an inherent desire to design and create. As a result of this creative drive she continues to amaze and clothe us with elegant prints and silhouettes.
    Stine Goya’s design studio was founded in 2006, developed almost immediately after her graduation from Central Saint Martins. Her professionalism and direction is apparent in Stine Goya’s resume but more importantly is reflected in the quality and ingenuity of her creations.
    She was able to answer a few questions about her brand and her methods despite her incredibly busy schedule.

    What made you first want to apply and pursue fashion school? 

    My passion for creativity and colors has always been a presence. I’ve been making my own clothes and styling ever since I was a little girl.
    How do you balance personal opinions and style with the overall product decisions in your brand Stine Goya? 

    These two things are closely related; balanced in an open process where the artistic and creative approach is guided by our design identity – I learned early that trusting my own gut feeling is the only right way for me and the brand.

    What gives you the most inspiration outside of fashion towards your work and art? 

    I find my inspiration everywhere when I travel, mostly outside of Denmark. It can be an Italian architect that catches my eye, a piece of South American art or a beautiful landscape.
    How do the deadlines and fast-pace of the fashion industry coincide with your working style? 

    My collections are long-lasting and stand outside the trend cycle. I’ve learned to do things calmly and in open processes. I am a perfectionist - I don’t like to present things that I am not proud of. To create things perfectly, you need time. I believe that great design is never rushed.

    How is Copenhagen reflected in your brand? 

    Copenhagen is home to me. It is where I have my design studio. I love the mix of being in a capital and at the same time a ‘smaller’ city. I do not see Copenhagen in my brand directly – but the brand is a reflection of me and I am from Copenhagen.
    Do you make the clothing for a certain person, if so who?
    I design clothes for women who are not afraid to express their individualities by the way they dress. It can be all different kind of girls and women which I appreciate very much.

    What do you consider a trend? 

    At Stine Goya we do not work with trends in that way. I see a trend as a feeling, a movement created by the people i.e. on the streets, from schools. As a designer, you make clothes - but it will always be the people who wear the clothes; that makes the trend.

    What are some future projects that you are looking forward to? 

    There are so many exciting things happening at the moment. Among others I look forward to celebrating our 10-year anniversary and showing at the Copenhagen Fashion Week in August – presenting the collection with a show is always magical.
    Do you like or want to collaborate with other artists or designers in the future? 

    Collaborating with talented artists from the art world has been a part of the brand since the beginning, and is something I intend to continue. It brings a welcome interruption into my everyday work-life. Working with people from outside the fashion industry is a present; it gives me new ways to explore my own designs, fuel my creativity and write new chapters in the Stine Goya story.
    What was your greatest obstacle in creating Stine Goya? 

    It is never easy to start a small independent company – But I can say now after 10 years that it is all worth it. It is a pleasure to grow and succeed with your passion - meeting and working with so many talented and inspiring people along the way. An obstacle is always an opportunity to learn and grow.

  • Layered

    Written by Chelsea Porter

    Layered + Michel Bussien

    Swedish interior brand Layered has launched their collaboration with artist Michel Bussien ; presenting the new collection in an installation exhibit. The furniture bears elements representing the artistic expression and blending of interior art and design.

    Here at Odalisque we couldn’t wait to get some Q&A time with the designer and founder herself Malin Glemme to discuss Layered, the new collection and collaboration with Michael Bussien.

    Where did Layered begin?
    I started Layered two years ago with the idea of offering high quality rugs in outstanding designs for moderate prices. The Furniture Collection is created with the same vision: to offer modern and elegant pieces at reasonable prices. Layered is creating collections for modern and elegant homes all over the world.

    How would you personally describe the new collection?
    The vision was to create elegant and contemporary design in combination with edgy and unexpected details. The collection is in rich velvet and you will find sofas, poufs, chairs and a day bed among the ten pieces. Colors range from dark, rich graphite gray and midnight blue to powder pink and emerald green. Details come in dark wood and brass.

    What inspires you?
    I find inspiration within different art forms- fashion, photography and architecture. For this collection, I was mostly inspired by the beautiful velvet fabric. Once I felt the soft and rich surface, the design and creation process started. And I love daydreaming on Pinterest, it’s a great source for all types of different inspiration!

    Where were you first introduced to Michael’s work?
    I first saw Michael’s work in Lamp Flag Store - his selection of ceiling light objects in sheep stomach and iron. I was so intrigued by these unique forms, it caught my eye right away.

    What do you hope people will gain from this experience?
    I hope to challenge people’s perceptions of their capability to explore other creative fields such as fashion, art, interior and photography. You don’t have to be in a box, you can explore other paths and still return back to your major craft. The work is nearly a meeting between worlds, surrealistically similar to the piece itself- with no direct story.