In the exhibition “Fridlyst,” Matilda Kästel explores pristine nature. By physically shielding oneself from human civilization, the ancient continuity of mountains, pulsing movements of rivers, and the experience of the forests’ contemplative gaze suddenly become clear. Nature’s expansiveness inspires a sense of stillness, wisdom, mysticism and strength.
Kästel’s inspiration is from her experiences in the forests of Småland and Washington State. As artist-in-residence at the Pilchuck Glass School outside Seattle, she spent an autumn in the majestic nature of the Pacific Northwest. She also has connections to Småland, where her relatives immigrated in the 1850s to focus on glassblowing, and during her studies, she spent a year in Kosta.
Technically, Kästel works with the hot blow mold method. The method involves blowing glass in a 700-degree plaster mold with tons of air channels. This allows for heat retention, facilitating a uniquely rich level of detail compared with what might otherwise be possible when blowing glass, all the way down to the smallest fingerprint. The glass is also combined with aluminum, which was cast at Westermalms Metallgjuteri in Botkyrka.