By depicting people I explore moments when we are alone one way or another. I examine the individual’s experience of separateness as well as the experience of blending into a group. Craftsmanship and physicality interest me. My portraits of athletes, fishermen, circus artists, among others, are glimpses of a moment of internal motion. The challenge is to depict without exaggeration how a subject’s appearance changes through gesture and expression.
Animals, especially sheep, have become one of my main subjects. I have observed them in the Nordic countries, UK and Iceland, alone and in small groups, in pairs and as part of a flock. I study the same human interaction and movement as in my works of people. In The Mother of Sheep, which is a kind of portrait of a sheep, I wanted to depict a strong leader of the flock, a matriarchal figure, but on the other hand also the complex feelings that are connected to parenthood.
Documentation and research are how I begin each project. I browse through old magazines and books, and print photos I have taken. These photographic prints are sketches for my paintings, a reference point to be interpreted freely. I’m also inspired by visits I’ve made to late authors’ houses. Narratives and storytellers behind the narratives interest me. I’m also inspired by popular culture, horror and science fiction films, family dramas and biographies. I contemplate how history is repeated in modern phenomena and how the entertainment industry has taken part in the narrative continuum.
The character of the work determines whether I carry it out by painting or carving on wood, working on canvas, MDF, or paper. The physical labor of creation and line-work is central to my artistic practice. By working with wood I have managed to find a way to make the line more three-dimensional. My works often emerge as installations, spilling from one surface to the next, from canvas to wall to the floor. When working on a wall, the relationship of the image to the texture of the wall, the space itself and the temporary nature of the work are important elements to me. A painting on the wall exists only for a certain amount of time and is then covered by other images and layers.