During my first ten years of active painting, a main focus was on light and shadow, both as an essential part of the composition and as a means of creating a mixture of homeliness and uncanny feeling (heimlich/unheimlich) in my works. My paintings are figurative, but I have always been interested in flatness and frontality, in inverted windows where cast shadows from the spectator’s viewpoint turn the so called window – the space of the picture, back towards the spectator.

I think the human longing, my longing, towards nature into which man partially belongs, and also does not, has provided the change I made towards new motifs (2012), first of them the paintings I call my Display-series.

My fascination with taxidermy, the stuffing of animals, inspired me for several exhibitions, and continues towards an overall interest in flesh and vulnerability, both of animal and human. What is living and what is dead? The longing for that which is corporeal, hairy, feathered and wild, untamed and even erotic. Something that both human and animal, all living creatures posses, which at the same time feels unfamiliar, uncontrollable. And on the other hand the rooms and glass show cases that surround the animals in museums, or the surgeon’s sterile equipment and reflections of cold light, inspire me to counterweigh the carnal and ordered world of humans.

What is wild and what is tamed?

So still, a fascination for what is familiar to us and what is foreign (as in heimlich/unheimlich).

My own development as an artist is also in question. I am formally searching for something contradicting: controllable, replicable, clever and energised, which unfolds from within to achieve a cruder form.


Magdalena Åberg