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  • Skribentens bildLena Mattsson

Borås Bright Art, Roots and Gone Fishing by Lena Mattsson 2022

Uppdaterat: 26 mars 2023

Borås Bright Art International light art in public spaces and at Borås Art Museum

28.10.22–26.02.23 (Borås Art Museum) 28.10.22–15.01.23 (in public spaces)

Lena Mattsson (SE)

Gone Fishing by Lena Mattsson (in public space) Roots by Lena Mattsson (Borås Art Museum)


Lena Mattsson explores how we relate to and perceive the world, time and space, often basing her work on seemingly ordinary situations that gradually shift and prompt us to question the fundamentals of life. She often plays with scale, and her works appear in surprising yet tailored places. Gone Fishing features children who fish objects out of the water; the work addresses environmental pollution and our attitude to nature. The stuff pulled up from the seabed also intimately connects us to previous generations, people’s collective lives and actions, and touches on questions in our own inner depths. Inside the museum, visitors are faced with an apparently tender figure that resembles some kind of elemental being. On a tree root, a child blows out and ignites a light in a cycle that alludes to the shape of growth rings and time’s unbroken loop.

Roots relates both physically and metaphorically to roots. The installation as a whole triggers ambiguous associations and shows how everything is connected – the beginning, the end, eternity. The works, both outdoors and indoors, are connected thematically and can be read as a triptych. Mattsson is deft at conjuring up moods, and takes us on a journey that is alternately thrilling, sensitive, magical, realistic and symbolic. The accompanying music is composed by the musician, art critic and philosopher Conny C-A Malmkvist.

Lena Mattsson (b. 1966) lives and works in Malmö. She studied at Målarskolan Forum (now Malmö Art Academy) in Sweden. Mattsson’s works, films and video installations have been exhibited in Sweden and internationally. Swedish exhibitions include Moderna Museet Malmö, Malmö Konsthall, Malmö Konstmuseum, the Nordic Watercolour Museum in Skärhamn, Nässjö Konsthall, Göteborgs Konsthall and Island of Light, Smögen. Selected exhibitions abroad are Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark; Museum of Contemporary Art, Santiago, Chile; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, the Netherlands; the National Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; The Metropolitan Art Museum, Pusan, South Korea; SPARK VIDEO: BEACON New York, USA; and the Portobello Film Festival, London, UK. She has also won art prizes and grants, including the Edstrand Foundation Art Prize and the Swedish Arts Grants Committee’s ten-year grant. Mattsson works as a curator, and she and Ola Åstrand co-curated Generation – En spegling av 1990-talets konstscen (Generation – A Reflection on the 1990s Art Scene) and Kultur under Covid-19 (Culture Under Covid-19) at Borås Museum of Modern Art in 2020-2021.

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