15 May - 20 June, 2004
Lars Bohman Gallery
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Galleri Lars Bohman is proud to announce Swedish artist Elisabeth Westerlund’s first exhibition at the gallery. In this exhibition she presents a series of textile photographic works and sculptural installations.

Elisabeth Westerlund is perhaps best known for her anti-monumental sculptural installation ‘Bit by Bit’ (2002) at Skulpturens hus in Stockholm and ‘Versailles’ (1993-98). In the former, wax had been trickled from a candlestick over the surface of the floor like an organic, growing system that was occasionally interrupted by cheese doodles, cotton buds, noodles, and salt sticks, thus playfully commenting on and engaging with the vast space and monumental scale of the architecture in Alfred Nobel’s former dynamite factory. In ‘Versailles’ Westerlund created a scale model of the formal gardens at Versailles, using macaroni, paper clips, pencils, beans, plastic lighters, kitchen utensils, and other small quotidian objects. The Sun King’s grandiose, megalomaniac project was taken down a peg or two by Westerlund’s domestic and humorous version. Louis XIV’s 17th century garden represented the French King’s absolute power and the relationship between power and powerlessness is a recurring theme in Westerlund’s art. In both of these works Westerlund’s strong interest in architecture, scale and structure, organisation and order, plans and models is evident. But perhaps the most characteristic feature of her art is her playful and humorous way of examining perspectives and scale displacements, and a desire to take the relationship between the detail and the whole to its logical conclusion.

Westerlund continued to pursue her fascination with the organisation of nature in her installation ‘Wallflower’ (2001) where she pinned real petals and leaves onto a classic Laura Ashley flowered wallpaper, fastidiously matching the pastel shades and shapes, creating a fleeting correspondence and a disturbing doubleness, between nature and culture.

In this exhibition Elisabeth Westerlund continues to scrutinise the relationship between the detail and the whole in large textile photographic works in which fragments of photographs and pieces of wool float freely like bubbles in a textile heaven. The photographs represent various types of trees and one has the feeling of lying under a sighing tree and gazing up towards the sky where everything, from a certain perspective, appears to be fragmented. A number of sculptural installations representing crocheted hats and mittens that have begun to unravel are placed on the floor, with the wool forming a pattern. One has the feeling that if one more row of wool would unravel then these crocheted hats would become unrecognisable and transform into a ball of wool. Here, as well, something is on the verge of disintegration and dissolution.

Elisabeth Westerlund was born in Stockholm in 1965 where she lives and works. She attended Birkagårdens Folkhögskola in Stockholm and Empire State College in New York. Her work has been exhibited in Sweden and abroad, recent exhibitions include: Skulpturens hus, Stockholm; Galleri Index, Stockholm; Västerås Konstmuseum, Sweden; Gävle Konstcentrum, Sweden; Centre Culturel Suédois, Paris; Cubitt Gallery, London; Sparwasser, Berlin, and Kunsthallen Brandts Klaedefabrik, Odense, Denmark.