Voices of Lövholmen – A place that generates creativity
These are some of the more than 50 artists and cultural practitioners who participate in Manifestation Lövholmen. In Manifestation Lövholmen, we shed light on Lövholmen as a unique cultural node in Stockholm – a place that generates creativity and carries a rich history.
With support from the City of Stockholm, the Stockholm Region and the Swedish Arts Council.
Beata Boucht, Illustrator and graphic designer
“Lövholmen is a sanctuary where many creators from different genres meet, where we can work and work without ruining ourselves.” This is the opinion of Beata Boucht, illustrator and graphic designer, who has had a studio on Lövholmen since the autumn of 2009. Here she has collaborated with artists such as Silvana Imam and Jenny Wilson, and worked with assignments from Dagens Nyheter, Uppsala City Theater and fashion giant Fendi. According to Beata Boucht, the studio in Lövholmen has meant a lot in the form of collaborations with others at Färgkontoret level 4, in the rest of Beckershuset and with Färgfabriken – but above all, the studio has been important as a room where she has time to think and work undisturbed: “I feel that the place itself is a source of creativity. ”
According to Beata Boucht, the uniqueness of Lövholmen is partly the site’s traces of industrial history, but also the perfect proximity to both city and nature, located as it is between Trekanten and Liljeholmsviken: “It is close enough to be easy to get there, but it is not in the middle of the city with all the accompanying distraction and pricing. ” In a city in constant search of attractive land for exploitation, where cultural practitioners are usually set aside, Lövholmen is according to her a welcome exception: “There is a notion that artists and cultural practitioners can be placed a little everywhere where there is some space left and that commercial forces are the only thing that should govern a cityscape. Lövholmen has been an antidote to that. ”
Why is it then important with places like Lövholmen, which enables the creation and exchange of art and culture? According to Beata Boucht, culture is an indispensable part of democracy: “The role of culture is both to highlight inequalities in society and to create a refuge from everyday life.” According to her, it has historically been shown time and time again that culture has a power to unite and germinate even in the most horrible environments and under fruitless conditions. But for it to be sustainable, political decisions are required: “For cultural workers and artists to have a real chance, areas such as Lövholmen and politicians who prioritize correctly are required.”
Åsa Cederqvist, artist
Video, installation, performance and sculpture. The artist and director Åsa Cederqvist, with a background in commercials and music videos, has over the past twenty years developed her personal imagery in a variety of forms of expression. In her studio on Lövholmen, in addition to her film camera, there are also fabric, glass, ropes and found objects with which she works out her large-scale sculptures. According to her, Lövholmen is an interface of, and a hub for, many different needs:
“Lövholmen is a production site not only for us in the studios, but also for Cementa and everyone who works with the transformation of this district. At the same time, it is clear that there are strong memories of our industrial history here. ”
Åsa Cederqvist moved into her studio already in 2009 when the studio association Plan 4 started. She says that the years at Lövholmen have meant a lot to her art:
“Working as a visual artist is often lonely, and the alternative is to sit in your own room without colleagues, far out in the suburbs, or in a basement or in a country house. Here at Lövholmen I get both company, knowledge exchange, dialogue and attention. It is fantastic to have so many great colleagues close at hand. ”
She points out how valuable it is to be able to share things such as premises and equipment in the studio house, but also how good it is that the house is located in a place that does not feel threatening in the evening or at night:
“If it had been completely off in a drained industrial area, I would have hesitated to use it at all hours of the day. Here I can do it, and I feel that there is always someone else in the house. ”
As usual, Åsa Cederqvist has many projects running at the same time. For a few months now, she has been working in parallel in her own studio and in Färgfabriken’s Open Studio. At Färgfabriken, she studies change processes – both in a metabolic bodily sense as well as in a view of a place in great social change:
“I think it is interesting with the body’s metabolism versus the development of society and the frameworks we are supposed to live within.”
At the same time, she is developing a sound work for Stockholm art. The work will be shown as an installation on 12-13 September in Vinterviken. In addition, she works with a decorating assignment for Uppsala municipality and with works for some exhibitions that will open this autumn.
Precisely change processes and how things are created is something that Åsa Cederqvist is particularly interested in in her art. But also for our desires, drives and instincts: “I am super interested in how play and vulnerability are our most powerful instruments in creation.”
For Åsa Cederqvist, the role of art and culture in society is enormous. She emphasizes how man has always needed to express himself, and not only through words and physical work, but also through poetry, crafts and movement: “Man IS art and culture and when we suppress it, it goes wrong elsewhere. ”
Photographer Ari Luostarinen och Kolsyrefabriken
Kolsyrefabriken [The carbon dioxide factory] from 1896 was in operation until 1988 and is the only carbon dioxide factory in the entire country that has been preserved. The factory’s cylindrical steel tower, which breaks off towards the horizon, continues to this day to be an important landmark next to Liljeholmsviken. While the surrounding city is growing and changing, the well-known steel towers have been a landmark for over one hundred and twenty years. After a decade of oblivion and decay, artists moved into the factory premises. Work in the studios continued until the premises were condemned at the end of the twentieth century. Today, artists also work in other buildings on Lövholmen, including Becker’s former offices.
For several years, the photographer Ari Luostarinen returned to the disused carbon dioxide factory from 1896 on Lövholmen, to document the traces of life in the seemingly abandoned premises. Even though the workers went home and took their stamp cards with them, there was an atmosphere left in the building. In the gaping empty rooms, voices and movements were sensed from people who had passed during the nearly hundred years that the factory had been in operation. But the closure of the carbon dioxide factory did not mean that the premises were empty. At each return visit, Ari Luostarinen found new traces of humans and animals. In the emptiness of the rooms he found traces of time that passed.
Elisabet Ericson, Illustrator, artist and children’s book author
“Having a workplace that you enjoy is a must. I go here to my study in Färgkontorethuset every weekday and work with picture book pictures. I share the room with Patriez, Helena, Inga and Maja (the constellation right now). It is bright, cozy and we have a good atmosphere. The rent is okay and I have a view of Reimersholme and Lilla Essingen and the house they are currently demolishing. In the common kitchen, I have met many nice art and culture colleagues who I now work with, and I also have friends who sit on the second floor here in the house. In the summer we often have lunch by Trekanten or on the piers at the boat club in Gröndal. When it is hot, we can also swim there. ”
Minna Palmqvist, Artist and fashion designer
“Without my 9 years at Plan Fyra at Färgkontoret, I do not know who I would have been today, and I would never have moved if it had not been for the lack of space. The flow of creative people led to unexpected collaborations, contacts, developing discussions at the lunch table, but above all many deep friendships. For me, it was vital to feel that I had colleagues; even though we worked in different fields, we shared so much experience and concerns. And so I had the world’s most beautiful view of the water with magical sunsets. I will never get over it. ”
Emilia Ilke, Artist
“Even being able to afford to have a studio is fantastic and allows me to take myself and my career choice seriously. I can actually live and work as an artist. The fact that the studio is centrally located and close to home makes the life puzzle with two small children at home easier when I do not have to spend half the day commuting. The location also means that I can receive many visitors, art buyers and partners on site in the studio, which is much appreciated. ”
Dina Isæus-Berlin, Painter
Dina has worked at Lövholmen since the summer of 2017.
What themes do you explore in your art? “My very basic question is about when something becomes a work from not having been there the moment before, as well as how that creation is affected by fairly precise circumstances and conditions. Painting, which is my medium, is of course also central. It works as a recording of “What happened in the studio. But painting also has a linguisticity where gestures, surfaces and references can conflict, harmonize or together mean something they could not tell individually.”
What has Lövholmen meant to you in your artistry?
“When I had just graduated from Konstfack, I got a studio in Färgkontorshuset. I was lucky enough to take it over from a teacher. This studio, which was incredibly cheap, made it possible for me to continue working almost seamlessly and develop my internship outside the department. It has been a very important place for me. “
What is unique about Lövholmen in particular?
“Lövholmen is like an air hole in Stockholm, a place that is quite central and by the water but which has not yet been blocked by market forces. Here there are still non-exploited areas, as well as opportunities for artists to find cheap premises, even if it’s something that is disappearing.The best thing about working on Lövholmen is that there are lots of other artists here.It can sometimes be a lonely profession, especially for artists like me, who stand and rub on themselves in the studio – but here I have had a feeling that
belong to a community. Lövholmen feels like one of the few places in Stockholm there
it is still a cluster of working artists. It’s valuable.”
Isak Sundström, Artist and musician
“I do not meet very many people, but I really like the feeling that so many people do things in the house, it creates a kind of beautiful collective energy.” This is what Isak Sundström, musician and artist, who worked on Lövholmen back and forth for 8 years, says. In his studio, clear traces of his latest great interest can be seen – leather and leather sofas. But he does not focus on one direction but likes to have several different projects running at the same time – including a music project with Cecilia Edefalk and an exhibition inspired by a medieval anarchist mystical movement that opposes basically everything: “The Middle Ages and the time we live in now does not feel completely different. It’s still lonely crazy kings who start wars and such, and now maybe the time of the plague seems to be back. “
Isak Sundström describes his own creation as quite inconsistent and scattered: “I’m tired of the idea of being consistent in what you do, everything is a single chaos after all. But often it probably revolves around how pointless everything is, and finding something beautiful in it. ” The studio on Lövholmen has been of great importance for his artistry and opportunity to work: “I think the whole house has a kind of special peace about it, so I have had very good peace of mind here.”
According to Isak Sundström, the best thing about the studio house is to be able to go there and hear the computer voice saying “Welcome in” when the door opens: “Then I always say ‘thank you’. It’s a kind of feeling of going into a strange factory where no one knows what’s really going on, but more of that feeling and power of something constantly just going on. ” According to him, what is the role of art and culture in society? “Escape from reality … and sabotaging … and making holes in reality.”
Joachim Granit, Creative Leader, Färgfabriken
“Lövholmen has been an important cultural cluster in recent decades. In the near future, the area is facing major changes; it will be demolished and built new and many of our neighbours will have to move. Färgfabriken wants to show through Manifestation Lövholmen the importance of taking Stockholm needs a unique environment where culture lives in symbiosis with an industrial heritage, the surrounding city and its future inhabitants. “
“Before it is too late, we want to manifest the need not to lose out on smaller activities and cultural industries in planning. These are important ingredients in all cities.”