MY LIFE IN FLOWERS
A Beautiful Chaos
I am entirely self-taught in the various techniques I practise. My artistic journey began at a very young age with guidance from my father. Since then, I’ve embarked on an ongoing art school of sorts, continuously adding mediums, techniques, and disciplines. The archetype of an artist has always been present in my personality. During my younger years, my artistic journey revolved around making space for art in my life as a profession, allowing the artist archetype to become a full-time presence. Now, as a young mother, my artistic journey involves striking a balance, as the archetype of a mother is the only one greater than that of an artist and certainly requires more time. This period of life is short, and I am embracing its chaotic and beautiful nature, which is rich with inspiration.
For many years, I exclusively worked monochromatically, using just one colour for extended periods. I’ve explored intense shades like ocean blue, warm walnut brown, deep printing press black, and now a faded pink created from clays. These colours never coexist on the same canvas or paper. My current endeavour involves using a full palette of colours and learning how they complement each other. Despite the diversity, the colours I use are primarily derived from natural materials, such as flowers pressed into ink or clay transformed into fine pigments later used in oil painting.
"Folklore and mythological symbolism wield great influence over my work... Symbols from various mythologies find their way into my work, as I’m drawn to their enigmatic histories. "
The female form and spirit serve as boundless sources of inspiration for me. Equally inspiring are the numerous artists over the decades who draw from this infinite well of beauty. Folklore and mythological symbolism wield great influence over my work. Growing up in Sweden, I was immersed in a culture rich in pagan lore, interwoven into our calendar much like other cultures integrate religion into theirs. These stories resonate with me, as pagan mythologies are rooted in nature and enriched by the vivid art of storytelling. Symbols from various mythologies find their way into my work, as I’m drawn to their enigmatic histories.
Nature is an ever-present element in both my materials and subject matter. Since my recent move to Australia, nature holds an even more substantial presence, likely due to its pronounced geographical impact. Unlike Western Europe, vast expanses of open land characterise this region. This transition has been intriguing for me, a person who relies on bikes and feet for transportation. Now, distance, silence, and wilderness define my daily life, and I am excited to see how this shift influences my art.
I am currently witnessing the growth of my first flower garden, primarily intended for pressing flowers into my Cyanotype work. This process is exhilarating, as things grow swiftly in Australia’s Northern Rivers. Having moved here just four months ago and never before having my own garden, I was both thrilled and uncertain about planting my first bed. I approached it with a technique I call “Chaos Gardening,” where I scattered seeds down with a little cross-my-heart-and-hope-to-grow! Today, a scruffy yet blossoming garden exists, and my excitement about it exceeds what I dare to admit. It connects me to the divine process of growth, a creative force of nature that dwarfs all other forms of artistic expression.
Tulips have become a recurring theme in my works; I adore their elegant simplicity. I am always on the lookout for Marigolds in abundance, as they yield a beautiful ink that I use frequently. Jasmine carries a nostalgic scent, particularly after my recent departure from France. The coastal town of Biarritz, which was my home for the past seven years, has a distinct jasmine season, filling the streets with an inviting aroma that lingers. The scent of elderflower also evokes memories of Sweden, where elderflower hedges bloom and families gather delicate white flowers to soak in lemon water throughout the summer. The mere thought of it makes my nose wiggle in a joyful dance.
“The hurried morning ritual of Earl Grey tea, the one with the little blue flowers in it, is a small pleasure. Observing those delicate flowers swirl and expand in my cup creates a slow-motion moment that unfolds against the backdrop of the morning toddler chaos”
The hurried morning ritual of Earl Grey tea, the one with the little blue flowers in it, is a small pleasure. Observing those delicate flowers swirl and expand in my cup creates a slow-motion moment that unfolds against the backdrop of the morning toddler chaos. With autumn’s arrival, roses transition into rosehips, invoking memories of home. Rosehip soup is in my DNA, much like most Swedish kids. The intriguing mystery is why roses thrive worldwide, yet rosehip soup is a rarity we all should pause to consider.
My upbringing in a region with distinct seasons, marked not only by temperature shifts but also dramatic daylight changes, accustomed me to life’s ebb and flow. Winter calls for extended studio days, a celebration of the indoors. I relish stillness; it’s a state I adore. Sometimes, I forget about my body, leaving it stationary as my mind drifts in thought on the page. Life feels so rich inside me, and stillness allows me to truly experience it. When summer arrives, I’m motivated to get up and embrace my body—whether on a mountain or under a crashing wave. It’s a different kind of life force, and that’s the beauty of the seasons for me.
During summer, my use of colour tends to be more exuberant, reflecting a desire to savour the delicacy of pastels. In autumn, I rein in my palette, adhering to a self-imposed monochromatic rule. The inclination towards a single colour tends to intensify as the months grow colder.
This season, I’m launching an outdoor life drawing class in Australia’s Northern Rivers, where I reside. Instead of the traditional indoor setting, we’ll be amidst the Australian bush. There’s something profoundly beautiful about a nude body in nature, and I’m eager to share these moments, drawing together with others. My partner coined the name “BUSH life drawing,” cheeky yet fitting. This endeavour allows me to share creative moments while working in solitude on three exhibitions that have been in progress for quite some time and are nearly ready. Exhibitions are a gradual process these days, as I balance them with caring for my little boy full time. Progress is steady, aligned with the pace I can manage at this moment, and that’s all I could hope for.