On Saturday, June 26, 2021 was the opening of "Wenn die Berge dein Meer werden" by Norwegian artist Lisa Eikrann at Antonio Wehrli Art Space in Schwanden, Glarus, Switzerland.
On the sunny day of the opening, over 50 art enthusiasts from near and far came to see the show at the art gallery in the picturesque mountain village center.
The exhibition features sculptures, paintings and a location specific version of "Bergthrone", which is made of a few hundred green, right-angled triangles.
Bergthrone, size variable
Exhibition context in Lisa Eikranns words:
Growing roots in a new environment can be difficult. In order to do so, I believe it is necessary to leave behind parts of yourself. This comes with a sense of loss. Changing countries and culture was difficult for me. I have been forced to accept that there are certain things that I had to let go of. One of these things, since I'm Norwegian, is the sea, which has been a big part of my life until I moved to Switzerland. It has played such a big role that losing it has felt like losing a part of my identity.
To fill the hole I have recently started to look at the mountains in a different way. Especially the mountainside display when the seasons change. It has in a way replaced my longing towards the sea.
Der Berg, 40cmx40cm, relief, ink on wood, steel frame
I chose the title "Wenn die Berge dein Meer werden" or "when the mountains become your sea" because the work I am showing at Antonio Wehrli Art Space was created simultaneously with my existential crisis and therefore reflects it. It is important to me, although the work is based on a personal struggle, that it is not exhibited to portray my feelings but rather to be a metaphor to any big changes in a person's life.
Spalt, 40cmx40cm, relief, ink on wood, aluminum, steel frame
While I was working with what was described earlier, I unknowingly fell deep into an old lifelong research of mine. The dramatic poem „Peer Gynt“, written by the Norwegian author Henrik Ibsen and incidental music composed by Edvard Grieg.
In short, the story is about a Norwegian farmer`s son who, through a disturbed self- image, acts bigger than he is to chase his goals in life. He is forced to invent a whole new character for himself. This means lying to and deceiving people who are closest to him. He does this with such intensity that he is losing his grip on reality and is entering a fantasy world of trolls, death and megalomania. After a lifelong quest around the world to become what he believes he is meant to be, he finds himself back in his childhood land where he faces death. Peer despairs in the end, understanding that his life is forfeit; he is nothing. But at the same moment, Solveig, who has been waiting for him since they were young, starts to sing. Peer believes himself lost. Then he asks Solveig: "Where has Peer Gynt been since we last met? Where was I as the one I should have been, whole and true, with the mark of God on my brow?" She answers: "In my faith, in my hope, in my love."
Der Knopfgiesser, 40cmx40cm, relief, ink on wood, steel frame
This story has followed me through different stages of my life. As a child I was fascinated by the music that Edvard Grieg wrote for Peer Gynt, especially by the beautiful "the morning mood" and the mystery of "the hall of the mountain king". As a teenager I fell in love with the entertaining Norwegian folk tales with it´s trolls, wild nature, strange characters and Norwegian values. At this stage in my life I also became interested in theater and pursued a career in art and scenography. During this time, when I was studying theater in Norway, I got to experience Peer Gynt several times shown on stage through different concepts. I have always been intrigued by the story, but I was never really captivated by it. Until rediscovering it during the process that led to this exhibition.
After so many years having Peer Gynt in my life, I am finally mature enough to understand not only the text itself but also the different aspects of it. Being a mother, daughter, wife and a person in constant search of existential understanding, has given me the tools to value the music and lyrics written for Peer Gynt on a deeper level.
Huldra, ink on wood, steel
The work I show at Antonio Wehrli Art Space until July 30, 2021 is the result of letting go of some things and at the same time discovering and building new ones. I am presenting various works inspired by mysterious creatures and nature from Peer Gynt in a visuell mixture of melancholy and hope.
Please feel free to come visit the exhibition at Antonio Wehrli Art Space at Freibergstrasse 2 in Schwanden, Glarus Switzerland. The gallery is open from Thursday to Saturday, 2pm to 5pm and on request. Closed from July 16 to 20, 2021.
If you live too far away, you can discover the art exhibition online by clicking here: https://www.a-w.ch/artspace
All the best,