Jenny Berntsson and Jelena – Pröva högen, an explorative installation 

25 January 17 March

Open Studio,  Project rooms


The artists Jenny Berntsson and Jelena have both worked with collective, participant-based art processes to develop play environments together with children in public space. They have both experienced that a pile of earth or sand has an immediate appeal to people. You can climb on it, slid down at it, sit in it, played with it and change it. The material is at once concrete and fleeting, but also has a deeper appeal.

Within the framework of Färgfabriken’s Open Studio, Jenny Berntsson and Jelena are now investigating what happens when you move a pile of sand into the art room. How is the experience of the pile affected when it’s moved from its natural location outdoors as a way to try to integrate it into the activities of an art space?

In Pröva högen (“try the pile” in Swedish), the artists invite you to a collective work where the pile becomes its own being that allows itself to be changed by the visitors. The pile has its own character and is at the same time a living material. It can be a play tool or something you experience as an object and as spatiality.

Together, an exploration of the pile as a concept, form, art and at the same time a changing play environment is carried out. During the Open Studio, documentation and reflections will be collected, made visible and discussed at a final seminar.

For the past two years, Jenny Berntsson and Jelena have been driving and involved in the project Den barnkonventionella lekplatsen, which is a three-year collaborative project where children are involved in designing five new play environments that are permanently built in Örebro and Kumla.

About the artists 

Jenny Berntsson is based in Stockholm and has for many years developed her methods within socially engaged art processes in several participant-based art projects. This way of working extends beyond the usual art scene and – through materials, workshops, spaces, concepts and meetings – enters the body of society and creates temporary or permanent changes and displacements. The methods are based on an interest in other people’s agency and creation, what happens (inside and outside) when we are allowed to experiment, test limits and break norms, where there is total freedom but perhaps also pure joy, vulnerability and pain.

Jelena is based in Örebro. Her art emanates from what happens in the meeting with other people, with a material or a place. Central to her artistry is to move from art as a representation of reality to art that becomes part of people’s everyday lives. The main materials are natural stone and outdoor environments, from which she makes physically usable sculptures that acquire functions, meanings and are animated in the meeting with the users. In the artistic process, those who will use the art are often involved and create it. Jelena wants to expand the ownership of art and collaborates continuously with various activities and people outside the traditional art space.

Open Studio

Färgfabriken’s ongoing project Open Studio was launched 2017 in collaboration with the art and design group Very Very Gold. Open studio is a way of giving exposure to creative thinking and creative processes before they adopt their final form, while also bringing creators and audiences closer together.


Maya Nagano Holm
Jessica Rydén