Annelie Grimwade Olofsson: Selected works, 2019-2022
Clay as Form as Play as Function, 2022
This project is rooted in the idea that self-care is a radical act and explores how it can be employed in creative processes through the plasticity of clay and the healing properties of haptic perception, pleasure activism and play as a tool for critical thinking with the aim of battling Eco-anxiety.
Haptic perception is how we relate to the world through touch and is a fundamental aspect of human experiences. It’s the first language we learn, for as newborns we rely on touch to know that we are safe and loved, I don’t believe this changes with age though. To be held and stroked calms and regulates our nervous system. We comfort each other through a hug, a kiss, a smile. As friends, we keep ‘in touch’ with each other. Later on in life we develop strategies to reassure each other through intellectualized forms of communication, but our body rhythms synchronize through touch. In other words, the surface of our bodies resonates with the subconscious depth of our being.
I see humans (amongst other things), as storytellers (some are story makers), by processing imagery we learn to tell stories by narrating a sequential storyline. In this new work I’ve been inspired by this creative and playfully dark way in which we extract, compose and project ourselves onto the world in order to build narratives we feel safe in.
When we deal with trauma and depression, we deal with detachment. A lost mind is referred to as someone being ‘out of touch’. Because of this, I don’t believe that words and images alone are enough to access the brainstem through which emergency responses can be resolved, to mend a broken spirit. In other words, we need touch and movement to mend. Timothy Morton says that being aware is synonymous with being depressed, so how do we stay hopeful in a place we don’t feel resilient? We interact. We become interconnected and we adapt. We play.
When working with clay, pulling, punching, pinching, stroking and smoothing, I experience a feedback loop of motor impulses and sensory awareness that isn’t verbal. The material quite literarily bridge the gap between thought and emotion and manifests as lived form. By cultivating those movements, forms and colours which intuitively feel good, give rise to objects which visually reflect that sense of compassion and resilience developed in the movement.
Each object is a reminder to make space for our emotions, be curious about them, seek the wisdom in them, treat them with kindness and remember that they are temporary.
- My Happy Blue, 2022, Glazed Stoneware, 120cmx49cmx39cm
- Doughnut Cloud, 2022, Glazed Stoneware, 65cmx63cmx60cm
- Better Together, 2022, Glazed Stoneware, 25cmx20cmx32cm
- Casting of the Sky, 2022, Glazed Stoneware, 62cmx2cmx32cm
Detroit Being, 2022
Work produced during residency in Detroit, resulting in a series of objects which together create an abstract, yet familiar, space through an installation that quotes the post-capitalistic environment of the city. Familiar yet creative installations can offer an alternative passageway to engage in otherwise pressing subjects while simultaneously recognizing local communities. The downfall of Detroit is the direct result of mismanagement from corrupt officials and money-grabbing industries. While the restoration of the city and its communities is often fought by local initiatives. Such as Breathe Free Detroit, a grassroots movement that fought to get Detroits Waste to energy plant closed. They collected 15,000 signatures in a petition calling for the local politicians to close it. The group estimated that about 21,927 people live near the plant. Of that population, 76 percent are people of color, and 71 percent are low-income. The image screened on the Trophy is depicting the now closed plant, with the phrase AMEN! tagged on its wall. I passed the plan every day on my way to the studio, and I wanted to pay homage to Detroit’s success in reclaiming their right to clean air.
- Detroit Being Trophy, 2022, Glazed Stoneware, 36cmx39cmx12cm. Photo by Clare Gatto
- Detroit Being Sign, 2022, Glazed Stoneware, Wood, Gold Leaf, 150cmx50cmx2cm. Photo by Clare Gatto
Wasteland is a collaboration project with the waste incinerator plant BOFA, between the years of 2019 -2020, I explore the borderline between artistic intention and materialistic innovation by repositioning waste materials in the development of artifacts. In a process of alternative mining, I collected and tested industrial byproducts i.e waste ashes, metal shavings, crossed glass and emission dust, through a combined process of theoretical research, applied experimentation and artistic narration. The aim of the project is to challenge our perception of material value and the human role as a consumer. By questioning material innovation the goal is to make a difference in how we perceive the drastic overproduction of waste in a bio-geophysical context.
As the global population increases so does the consumption of goods, and the creation of waste, which runs the risk of polluting fresh groundwater and surrounding ecosystems in landfills. Through the firing process up to 1280 °C, natural matter burns away and unknown metals melts, forming a visual manifestation of its toxic nature. The distinct white porcelain and translucent glass, makes for an interesting juxtaposition to the smelly underbelly of capitalism.
The Wasteland objects can be seen as material manifestos, unlike theoretical works that discuss but do not create Anthropocene objects, which function helps to tell a side of humanity’s story. The artifacts has textures and visuals which are both familiar and unknown to human material knowledge and imagination, but which ultimately, knowing the story behind the objects, demands the observer to decide whether to be in awe of their appearance or to acknowledge the ambiguous morality of the processes that created them.
- Wasteland, 2020, Reclaimed Clay, Waste Ashes, Metal shavings, Glass, Welded Iron, Glaze, Hoover Dust, Various Height: Tallest object 150cmx38cmx40 Smallest 65cmx38cmx38cm. Photos by Ida Buss
Crafting Matter, 2019
Playing with the relationship between form and matter. Materials: Stone dust, Plaster, Beer Bottle Glass, Metal shavings, Glaze Waste, Porcelain, Ashes, Kilnslag, Ceramic Stains, Hoover dust from workshop, Electrical Cables.
- Crafting Matter, 2019, Material: Stone dust, Plaster, Beer Bottle Glass, Metal shavings, Glaze Waste, Porcelain, Ashes, Kilnslag, Ceramic Stains, Hoover dust from workshop. Various H x Ø 12 cm. Photos by Kasper Agergaard. Overview photo by Ida Buss.