Walking into Lisa Lindqvist’s studio is like peeping back stage of some dreamlike Vaudeville production. Miniature works in progress mingle with near life size figurative sculpture. The room is stuffed with objects, which Lisa collects, magpie like, waiting for their moment to be sprinkled with fairy dust and transformed into something else. ‘I get inspiration from everything’, says Lisa, ‘my imagination runs riot’.
In fact, Lisa’s working life is so full to the brim with ideas, she has created an alias in order to produce two very different types of work. ‘The alias came about at a time of great personal change’, she says. ‘I had been a full time mum for a long time with little personal ambition. When I eventually had time to work again, everything rushed up to the surface. It was as though I had been in a dormant state and suddenly I had a huge surge of energy. I wanted to do everything, see everything and embrace it all’. She says that, for her, creating an alias was extremely liberating.
‘I needed a split from my other artistic life. I was disillusioned with the art world and the process of selling. I needed to take all the pressure away and make work under a different name’, she says. ‘I also wanted to make completely different work’. So Katarina Rose was born. She made her first appearance at a two woman show for Dorset Art Weeks in 2013. ‘The work is so different’, says Lisa. ‘The sculpture is calm and figurative, looking at the human form, whereas the boxes are a riot of imagination and colour’.
Katarina Rose produces exquisite miniature works using mixed media, encased in boxes, and each one represents a much larger story. ‘Each character and box is part of a much bigger story’, says Katarina, ‘I imagine the characters in their entirety—their background, their personality, their hopes and dreams’. She also researches period extensively in order to get the detail absolutely right. ‘Phrases will pop into my head and I start seeing signs and symbols everywhere when I am working’, she says, ‘I love chance occurrences too and it is amazing how often they pop up. It is incredible sometimes when we experience points of self awareness through contact with other people’.
Katarina’s work sounds almost literary and indeed she writes stories for each of her characters. ‘Much of the work is based around an imaginary place called The Field. The Field is an ongoing project, populated with characters I have created’. The project is concerned with power and control and making wrongs right. She says, ‘The Field is a place where human prejudices and stereotypes can be challenged and sometimes resolved’.
Katarina is particularly interested in the role of music in our lives. ‘I love the analogy of life being a dance’, she says. She thinks there is also something about being open to life that music can arouse. ‘I find it wonderful how when one needs something from life, knowledge or hope pops up’, she says. ‘We can become totally caught up in what we think will make us happy—a certain lifestyle perhaps, or society’s material and physical expectations. We can become unwittingly selfish and greedy’. Katarina talks about the risk of travelling ‘a road that doesn’t belong to you and the purpose of life is finding out how to make that road your own’.
Much of Katarina’s work is based around the idea of filling that spiritual void to create kindness, compassion and humility. The boxes represent an attempt to try and just be, rather than getting sucked into the prejudice and sexism all around us. ‘Although the work could appear illusory, it is about combating the illusions all around us that “things” will make us happy’.
Katarina works tirelessly and squeezes her work into the time she can carve out for it. ‘I stopped watching TV several years ago’, she says ‘and I often work at night. It is all about grabbing and time and making every moment count’. She thinks that ‘we are often more present in out virtual lives—on the Internet or connected to a screen—I want to counteract that by making engaging work’.
Katarina/Lisa has another surprising aspect to her repertoire. For over a decade she competed all over the world in Snow Carving competitions, representing the UK. ‘I absolutely loved it’, she says, ‘working with such a wonderful natural material and travelling to some amazing places’. She went to Lapland, China, Canada, Japan and Estonia amongst others. Competitors have to submit designs and are selected on the strength of their idea to represent their county. ‘It was a fantastic experience’, she says.
Katarina Rose’s new work will be shown at The Old Timberyard, West Bay during July. This 18th Century former goods store was a vital part of the shipping trade for Bridport Harbour. It is the perfect place for Katarina’s new show entitled Ships in the Night. ‘It is a reference to coincidence, or chance occurrences, again’, she says. The show includes a new site specific installation alongside sculpted forms and the miniature boxes.
Katarina has many plans to expand The Field project and loves the way people respond to the narrative. ‘Children in particular really relate to the stories’, she says. Her imaginative work continues to absorb viewers and this promises to be a great show for all the family.
Ships in the Night Sat 11 July – Sun 26 July 2015
Mon-Fri 10am – 4pm, Sat & Sun 11am – 6pm
A solo show of constructed miniature worlds inside boxes alongside sculpted forms and site specific installation. Private View Fri 10 July 6-8pm.
Further details from Amanda Wallwork
firstname.lastname@example.org 07816 224015.