Västerbotten’s sensory childhood landscapes: a mighty winter garden beneath a ceiling of sky. The violet-brown, frosty flora against the icy pastels of clouds. Fixed ground like shimmering velvet, sailing under the crisp, flowing crystal, as if under a magnifying glass. Enormous clarity, light, reflections everywhere, in frozen buds, blossoms, leaves. Slicing through frozen snow, a blasted sky, all is soft, all is hard, all is seed, all is near. I am an eye.
The studio’s craftspeople are my hands.
Swedish is a sparse language that lacks the English word artist in the sense of a skilled, experienced practitioner. Lena Bergström is a skilled, experienced practitioner in her irreverence for the lines separating the various arts: she goes where she wants and she is prepared to go anywhere, if she finds it necessary, and all non-essentials are non-essential to her. She proceeds with style and clock-like precision, or like a stream, with grace and power, no matter what – another expression missing from Swedish.
Yet Swedish is still beautiful, with its formgivare, “form-giver,” meaning designer – though Bergström gives more (and rather) body than form, a body-giver of the various materials which she so resolutely handles in her profession. If it is indeed a profession and not merely the embodiment of desire, of craving materials, color, shape – and body. A winter garden is not dead; it is barely even resting. It is awaiting spring with longing. Merely.