Elizabeth Croft - Experiments with light and space
Very often I get surprised when entering Stavanger kunstforening. I like surprises. I had great expectations of the exhibition of Fredrik Lindqvist, it was really great. And the exhibition of Elizabeth Croft in the basement was a great positive surprise.
Fredrik Lindqvist makes his work by woodcut on textile bits, sewn together by hand to a large collage of colours, textures and motives from tv shows or popular culture. I had seen his work before, at the "Ballad of Materialism" exhibition at Rogaland Kunstsenter last year, and knew this was an exhibition not to miss. I was not let down.
Fredrik Lindqvist: Der sommer wird heiss
Entering the room filled with Lindqvists work I see an explosion of colours on textiles, some enormous, some medium sized. I see people in weird poses and situations, some posing, other unaware of the viewer. Getting closer I see the picture is made by small bits of different style and coloured textiles, sewn together roughly by hand. The bits are from curtains, bed sheets, pyjamases and who knows what. Some bits must have been hidden from the fashion police since the seventies. On these bits are the motive, printed by woodcut. I can not really imagine how much creativity, planning, work and mounting it takes to make these works.
Fredrik Lindqvist: Utan tittel / Finger / Ängel
I just love how the texture change the setting of the motive, how the punkers and rock stars are contrasted by the cosy teddybear- or flower-decorated textiles. It is great to see the crazy choice of motives, on a plain painting many of them could have been boring, uninteresting or even kitch. But in this setting they suddenly become interesting. And I enjoy how wildly the different textile decors are put together.
Fredrik Lindqvist: Ansikt
It is not a coincidence that in the large hall of the venue is an exhibition of the Marimekko design. Clothes and textiles with the characteristic styles of the famous Finnish design company fill the room. Entering the Marimekko room, I got a sudden urge to run back to see if Lindquist has used any Marimekko textiles in his work.
But instead I head down to the basement, not knowing what to expect. I had read that Elizabeth Croft had done some experiments with the room and its appearance. An empty project room is usually not the most inspiring topic, so I was anxious to see what she had been able to wrench out of it.
She has projected the project room, inverted it, shrinked it, analyzed it. On one wall is a drawing of the opposite wall, a drawing made by carpenters chalk line. Another wall is covered by a giant wallpaper, showing the opposite wall, where the entrance is. But the wallpaper is printed from negative film, all the colors are the opposite of the original. The artist herself is reflected on a glass door on the negative wallpaper. The photo was made in less than a second, but the photographer and the camera remain in the room, on the photo. Inside the adjacent room are photos of the intricate calculations in her notebook. Also these prints are from negative film.
The highlight is a white table in the middle of the room. From far, it looks like a regular white table. But it is hollow. In the table is a perfect miniatyre of the project room, upside-down. It is almost like I expect to see myself in there, upside-down.
I am amazed of how much inspiration Croft has found from this rather dull room. Some time ago, Kjersti Haga presented great art based on the mould and moisture damage in the room. The mould is now covered by paint, but the room has become an art piece again.
Fredrik Lindqvist exhibition link here
Elizabeth Croft exhibition link here