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Maria Erikson "Hazy Gardens"

GÜ Gallery 17.–4.05.2024 (E–R 12–6pm)

Opening reception on 16 April at 5pm

You will find me if you want me in the garden.

Unless it's pouring down with rain.

(Einstürzende Neubauten, The Garden. Album Ende Neu, 1996.)

 

Trees stand for growth and life but also for stability and roots.

People spend time amongst the trees to seek knowledge and

integrity because this is where the spiritual and mundane are intertwined.

I visit the trees to ask for advice or tell them about my grief.

(M. E.)

 

Hazy Gardens premises on an allegorical ambiguity of a garden as an archetypal image of the soul and happiness. A garden represents a spiritual headspace but also a physical space where to seek sanctuary and beauty. While it is an attempt to create nature in a constrained form, it can also be seen as an extension of a domestic space. It is a dimension that is purposefully cultivated in a need of comfort, freedom and escape. In a sense, nurturing a garden is nurturing oneself. It is an embodiment of human desire to care for and be cared for. The neglected, once lush garden becomes a symbol of decay and of a tenacious nature that eventually takes over the habitat.


With similar attentiveness and sensitivity, as if tending to a garden, gentle gestures are transferred to printing paper though the creative process of the artist, envisioning a dreamy garden space, and simultaneously representing the ephemeral nature of the dream itself. Artist’s attempt to grow and maintain both real and imaginary gardens becomes an allegory of the (human) nature, its permanence and impermanence.

 

Artist thanks: Association of Estonian Printmakers, Lembe Ruben-Kangur, Liina Siib, Britta Benno, Kadri Toom, Brynhild Seim, Jim Berggren, Marko Odar, Villem Säre, Mart Saarepuu, EKA graafika

Exhibition is supported by the Cultural Endowment of Estonia.

 

Maria Erikson (1985) lives and works in Tallinn and Oslo. Her body of work is an exploration of personal identity and cultural narrative through the methodology of craft and the process of artmaking, the representation of the body and the ephemeral nature of material itself. With the focus on materiality and materials as sets of relationships, she investigates visible and non-visible relations that are produced by the gestures between them. In new structural arrangements she investigates their jointness and indifferences, bodiliness and ability to inhabit shared space.

 

Maria Erikson teaches graphic art at the Estonian Academy of Arts and the Oslo National Academy of Arts in Norway, previously also at the Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki. Erikson holds a MFA degree in printmaking study area from the Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki and a master printer certificate as a collaborative lithography printer from Tamarind Institute (NM, USA). Before that, she studied graphic arts in Sweden. Maria Erikson is a recipient of the Eduard Wiiralt grant (2021), The Swedish Printmakers´ Association Scholarship, (2017), Getfotsfonden Foundation Scholarship (2012), Eric Ericson Foundation Fellowship (2012), and has been on two occasions rewarded with Ann-Margret Lindell Grant for Printmaking (2021, 2008, Sweden). In 2023, Erikson was awarded the title of Printmaker of a Year by the Association of Estonian Printmakers.

 

Recent exhibitions: Perspektiv på trykk, Gallery Norske Grafikere, Norway (2024); Pindadest, piiridest, omaruumidest, The Rapla County Centre for Contemporary Art (2023). Solo exhibitions Soft Touch On The Deckle, The Museum of Lithography, Sweden; Gallery Ratamo, Finland; Gallery Draakon, Tallinn (2023) and Notes from Borderspace, ARS Project Space, Tallinn (2022).



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