Rydh/Sörenson – Apple tree, kollage på papir, 129x97cm, 2016
by Håkan Bull
The artist duo Anna Sörenson and Daniel Rydh met in 2013 at the Modern Museum in Stockholm where they both worked as guides and started working together, often with collages. As individual artists, Daniel Rydh has worked with digital collages and light installations and Anna Sörenson has worked with performance, painting and drawing. She started the series The Never Ending Book in 2010, a collection of watercolours combining organic forms and chequered backgrounds. Their collaborative collages are inspired by myths and legends placed in contemporary, abstracted high-on-sugar world (in their own words). Their working process is concentrated but also playful. Typically Daniel will prepare a background while Anna paints various watercolour sheets from which the collages later will be comprised. Then they will start making the actual collage using elements from their growing store of collage pieces. Working together demands great respect for and trust in each other. Other joint projects are land art and videos.
Arne Isacsson 100 years – Exhibition at the Nordic Watercolour Museum
by Jacqueline Stare
The Nordic Watercolour Society was founded by a group of people inspired by the professor and artist Arne Isacsson, as was the idea of a Nordic Watercolour Museum. The museum has in 2017 commemorated Arne Isacsson who would have turned 100 this year. The exhibition was divided into 3 themes: the flowing landscapes of the 1980’ies and 1990’ies, a suite describing an imaginary journey on the Siberian Railway and watercolour monotypes. Through all themes his major subject is landscapes. The monotypes are created through his knowledge of watercolour pigments using his own special technique with very thin (30g) bible paper. They seem to suggest hills, rocks, water and sky. The Siberian Railway works are minimalistic, suggestive watercolours and collages of imaginary landscapes. During the 1960’ies he began to study watercolour techniques and pigment characteristics and he is probably most well-known for teaching these things to eager pupils in Sweden and Norway in particular
by Camilla Granbacka
The watercolours of the Finnish artist Kati Immonen comment our way of approaching nature and the way we try to control it and understand it. Her latest paintings combine earthbound Finnish forest elements with Japanase aesthetics. It all comes down to man’s urge to overcome nature. As an example she has depicted the decorative flower baskets sold in Finland during Christmas. The neatly packed micro cosmos of these baskets contain Finnish mosses and pines combined with exotic imported flowers. She still wonders at indoor potted plants and bonzai creations: neatly manipulated greenhouse plants grow wild in their natural tropical environment. Earlier on she was pre-occupied with environmental issues, but now her emphasis is more on how to enjoy nature. She took up watercolour painting because this medium gives her a sense of security. She feels she must complete the painting at a given moment and this is harder for her to do with oil painting.
Mari Kanstad Johnsen
by Live Sætre
The visual artist Mari Kanstad Johnsen mostly works in digital media with illustrations but watercolour plays a major part as a starting point for many of her works. Her loose style of watercolour painting balances the harshness of the digital media and she likes the ugly/beautiful contrast between pure and muddy colours and between calmness and drama. She draws on inspiration from many different sources such as Mexican folk art, Japanese wood cuts, Henri Matisse and Giorgo Morandi. Some of her commissioned illustrations for children’s books have won awards and she has received much acclaim for children’s books of her own writing and illustration. She has also gained international recognition and has among other things been commissioned to do illustrations for New York Times and an American scientific magazine. Her master project from the University College of Arts, Crafts and Design in Stockholm in 2010 was a surreal animated thriller about the French film director and biologist Jean Painlevé (1902– 1989) and an octopus. The use of watercolours was essential to describe the atmosphere of this film.
Summary by Marianne Gross