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Inspired by the glitter that mimics the light of nature; Sara Forsström examines the relationship between man, woods and nature that leads her back to places that may not exist. Artworks had a caught up with in time for her current show at the cherished Pom Gallery in Mariefred.

5 min read

What are you up to these days?

Right now I'm in that undefined and free space that sometimes occurs after meeting a deadline. I try out some new stuff in the studio, read and give myself a little space to get back on track. It's lovely.

Congrats to a wonderful show at POM, please tell us about it?

Earlier I've worked with glitter drapes, you know the kind you use as a backdrop at a stage, or as decoration at a party. I've been fascinated by the sort of places that I associate it with - dark places we try to make beautiful, places of the night where you get drunk and chase for satisfaction. 

In this show I've kept some of that glitter and tried to take it to another kind of dangerous darkness - the forest. I find it captivating how overwhelmingly gorgeous the nature can be, but at the same time I suspect it hides something mysterious and treacherous.For this show I tried out a new way to present the paintings with frames that reminds me of those maps in a classroom or drapes that you pull down in front of your window. 

What and who inspires you?

I find a lot of inspiration and energy in my fellow artist! It's necessary for me to see and talk to colleagues. When I first moved back up to Västerbotten from Värmland, almost three years ago, I started out in a studio far from any city. And even though I loved working so close to the forest (which is my other big source of inspiration) I really missed the geographical closeness to other artists. I now work in a smaller studio in Umeå, in a building that I share with other artists and I feel grateful about that every day. 

Did you have a pivotal moment when you decided to follow your path as an artist?

One such moment could be twelve years ago when i chose to quit high school before graduating in favor of starting my artistic studies. I've just met the teacher who would come to play a significant role in my early struggles to find my way to work artisticly.

Have you ever had a moment when you questioned you career entirely? 

Yes I often question it as a career. But never as my sole occupation. I actually can't say exactly when i stopped playing as a child and started making art. It's always been the most natural way for me to exist. I just need to do it. 

Could you describe your art?

I could in a way, or probably in many ways, but I prefer not to. I love to talk about my work in a real live dialog where there is another persons reflection, questions and associations. I often find that the one way description more closes that opens the door to perceiving art. But off course an artist will always be asked to describe her art, so i guess I need to keep working on that. Find that way to describe that doesn't close the work for me, at least.

Take us through the process of making your work.

Everything I do somehow connects to something I've already done or saved before. The starting point can be a photo in my phone, a note, or an earlier work of mine. I usually print an image that I use as a starting point when I paint. One thing I love about painting is how it offers resistance and something new always appears that I have to approach in one way or another. For me to work is to make a decision for a start, let things happen and then make a whole lot more decisions. 

You collect sections of landscapes and different places and then crop it until it remains a surface and a structure - could you describe that? 

Yes, this is one way to describe what I do. Places, real or imaginative, are something that keeps my attention. Perhaps it's because they are like scenes for something to take place, or where something could have happened before. It doesn't have to be dramatic occurrences, perhaps someone (like an elk) just passed by and thought about something else. But the places are always present for us, like images we have to relate to in our lives. 

When I abstract a landscape it becomes even more of an image. Like when you blur your eyesight. We often identify ourselves with the type of nature that surrounds us. For me it is the nature up here in the north. These are the kind of questions I have with me when I work.

What are your ambitions and and goals for the years to come on a professional level?

I look forward to new challenges and hope that opportunities will keep present itself so that I can work even harder in the studio, dig deeper where I'm at and see what happens. And I would love to work for a larger scale solo show!

What will you be working on now? What’s up next?

Next I'm up for a collaborative project with a colleague that will end up as an exhibition at Mölnycke Kulturhus at the end of the summer.

POM Gallery is present at Artworks, check out Sara's show here!