To try to understand Malin's work, one must not try to understand anything. It is a natural state that we enter, and we learn to recognize and make friends with Malin's shapes as they look, as they are. As her shapes metamorphose into similar but different forms; like clouds, separating, transforming, and regrouping. Floating amongst each other, keeping equilibrium. Malin's world is feminine and fluid. In her ink drawing, we confront silhouettes of age lines on trees. In her collage, rocks are overlaying on top of each other in its own universe with its own forms. In her painting, circular motions react with one another; and in her sculpture, the still shapes seem to come to life.
Malin had her first solo exhibition at the Gallery Steinsland Berliner in Stockholm and we got the chance to talk with her about her work and career.
Bergen was perfect; it became my own bubble where I could focus on my work. I had my own schedule, so I could choose to go to lectures, have tutorials or classes, or just work in my studio. To be in art school is a luxury – you can afford the time to experiment and evolve, to try out new things. Also, the closeness to the mountains and nature in Bergen influenced me a lot.
For me, it is very important to let go of expectation and create a piece as it comes. During the process, a conversation takes place between me and the work. I need to be observant, always ready to rethink and have the ability to see the deviations previously. Meanwhile, I have to be quick in order to not lose the thought or intuitive side. The next step always depends on the one before, like in a game of domino. The color depends on the shape and the shape depends on the color, and they altogether depend on the surroundings.
I’m constantly trying to change my perspective of the world, seeing everyday objects as something different and abstract. Cutting out colors and textures in different shapes to reconstruct them in other ways. To look beyond the boundaries, trying to imagine that there is no beginning and no end. No line dividing "this" from "that". During the nights is when I see things differently, when the spirits are around me in the same way that objects are, they become shadows and shapes that constantly surround me. The spirits and objects merge and together make up the key elements in my work.
I like to think about things that are uncertain, because they leave more space for my own imagination. It could be everything, from reflecting on the universe to over hear a conversation you won’t know the ending of. In my work I reconstruct fragments from my memories, dreams and surroundings where past and present no longer work as isolated units. I try to translate my sights during the night into my days, making the invisible visible, staying on the threshold between day and night. It’s about being open to the unknown and accepting it. Instead of asking why and how and analyzing everything to its core, I think there is beauty in the unknown. To be seduced and have the ability to seize without a fight. I believe that not knowing everything leaves more space for our imagination to come alive.
My overall process is like my own game in my telephone where I move between different mediums and techniques. Something that started out flat as a collage on paper might become a sculpture and later a painting , seen from another point of view, constantly changing, always in the search for the right medium and size for each piece.These changes in material, size and technique, always involve a translation in the process, in which the qualities change together with my perception of the piece.
I usually prefer acrylic paint before oil. The acrylic lets me be impatient and daring, and because it dries so fast I don’t lose my inspiration while waiting. I know I have the ability to repaint almost immediately which then allows me to constantly try new paths and find the unexpected in what could have been "mistakes". I try not to get stuck on how a specific line or shape should take its form, just like automatic writing, I let my hands guide me.
It feels great to be back home but my three years in Bergen mean a lot to me, I really needed them. Now, in February, I have an upcoming solo show at Fullersta Gård in Huddinge where I will also release my book Private Language. I will also take part in a group show at 3:e Våningen in Gothenburg curated by Jarko.