inside out

Agneta Andersson

5 june – 26 september 2021


Inside Out, 2021
Linoleum cuts and digital print on textile

The city of Kiruna and its vast mine are a key background to Agneta Andersson’s art. In previous works she has depicted urban spaces that are being fundamentally transformed—if not erased—due to the impending relocation of the city because of the mine’s expansion. The mine—one of the world’s largest—started its excavations in the 1890s and by 2004, the mining company LKAB and the city government initiated a plan for the relocation of the city to allow for the mine’s continued expansion. Since 2015, parts of the inner city of Kiruna are being emptied and demolished, and citizens are being relocated and forced to reimagine their future.

Inside Out is a newly produced series of black and white linoleum cuts depicting landscapes around Kiruna. In these new works Agneta Andersson has rediscovered forests, bodies of water and natural landscapes of her childhood, forgotten or neglected in her acknowledgment while busy mourning the city’s disappearance.

Form and content speak intimately with each other in Agneta’s art. Her earlier large drawings portraying demolished houses in Kiruna’s city centre were made in charcoal, a material that reminds us that coal is an essential mineral for the production of steel–steel is the alloy of iron with carbon; iron is the main raw material extracted from the Kiruna mine. The new works are made with a technique that cuts the surface, as the mine itself does with the landscape. And in the carving process of the linoleum cuts, the removed areas of the linoleum surface work as a reverse mirror in making the image.  What disappears is what shapes or becomes the final images. It is a technique that emphasizes contrasts, like existing in the absence.

As in most of Agneta’s work, black and white are the only colors in the exhibition, just as Inside Out–the exhibition’s title–also plays with dualities and oppositions. The two colors resonate strongly in expressing sadness, grief and mourning in the face of loss and disappearance. Agneta’s work is about mourning. The new works are about mourning the loss of her life partner. Yet the loss of the city lingers as an element as well. But her works are also about healing. The linoleum cuts are a celebration of a landscape that now provides comfort and consolation.

As she herself has manifested it: “The motifs are recognizable, common and personal. Time to look back, but at the same time both difficult and inspiring task in looking forward, towards the new. To create about that which has been gives strength to that which has not yet appeared, socially and creatively, in our lives.”

The large single print in the middle of the room is a double reflection of the horizon, the forest and its reflection on the water both doubled or mirrored, creating a third image, an uncanny presence, again of what is no longer there. A ghost-like abyss that consumes Kiruna – becomes a fundamental presence. In her mirroring of the cliffs, the hole, she turns a negative space into a positive space, into what might be read as a possible new horizon.

More information can be found in the Folder.

About the artist

Agneta Andersson is an artist based i Kiruna and Luleå in Norrbotten in northern Sweden. Nowadays her work consists of drawings and linocut. She studied art at The School of Design and Crafts in Gothenburg. She has previously worked with glass, metal, and textile. She is a member of the Kiruna-based artist collective “Koncentrat” based in Kiruna. In 2014 she participated in the international exhibition Kirunatopia that was displayed in Dresden and Umeå. She has also participated in the group exhibition Kiruna Forever, 2020 at ArkDes in Stockholm. Since 2019, Andersson is a curator at Luleå Konsthall.

Photo: Karl-William Sandström