I seek you in my dreams


I Seek You in My Dreams is a body of work where the artist explores the circumstances that brought together the peoples that shaped the past, present and future of the artist’s own family and that of the Southern African region at large. Being of Scottish, Zulu, Kilimani, Lozi, Zezuru and Karanga heritage, the tribal cocktail that makes up the artists identity is a microcosm of the complex history of the region, giving clues as to the movement and intermingling of peoples. Contentious land issues, mineral wealth extraction and exploitation as well as the spirituality of the landscape are central points of interest in these works.


The red soil in the background of the images is collected from the area in Zimbabawe where the artist's father is buried, and contains a high percentage of iron, hence it's intense red colour. However, according to folklore, the colour is due to the blood of the people. The portraits of sacred rocks and raw diamonds are crocheted in copper thread.

Sacred Rocks I
Raw Diamonds I
Raw Diamonds II
Raw Diamonds III
Raw Diamonds IV
Full Moon on the Golden City

Black Diamonds


Having returned to the Southern African region to reconnect with and explore the history of her father’s people, the artist encountered the term Black Diamond for the first time. It is a term used in modern day South Africa to describe the new affluent and influential black middle class. But within the true realities of the day-to-day struggles of the average black Southern African - contending with crumbling infrastructure, corrupt and incompetent governance, abject poverty; the concept of the black diamond seems an elusive mirage.

 

The Cullinan diamond is the largest rough diamond ever found and it was discovered on South African soil in 1905. The Transvaal Colony government gifted the diamond to the then British king, and it was subsequently cut into various stones; the largest of which, The Great Star of Africa, was given a pendeloque or pear-shaped cut and set among the crown jewels of the United Kingdom. This inspired the monoprint Black Diamond I – a reflection on the exploitation of the land and its peoples, the wealth and treasures that were lost and that continue to be plundered to this day without benefiting those who need it most.

Black Diamond I
Black Diamond II

They Came With Knowledge


An exploration of the embedded knowledge contained metals that has been inherited through the generations, (humankind has being using copper for over 10 000 years). This ancient metal has been crafted into a bindle of knowledge using the first textile technique the artist ever learnt as a child - crocheting. Knowledge that was passed on from mother to daughter. The second piece is an embroidered towel of copper thread and aluminium mesh where the stitching creates an imitation of Karelian lace, one of the first weaving techniques taught to the artist years later. Knowledge passed on from teacher to student.


Photographer: Karin Björkquist

They came with knowledge I, detail
They came with knowledge II, detail
They came with knowledge I + II

There is Knowledge in These Stones


An exploration of the embedded knowledge contained metals and stones. A bindle is filled with slag stones, a bi-product of early iron production in Sweden which is weighted against a bindle of iron ore. The extraction of nature's resources, the exploitation of many bodies, the imagination of many minds are all intricately intertwined and ever-present in every aspect of our lives. The bedrock bears witness.


Photographer: Karin Björkquist

There is knowledge in these stones, detail
There is knowledge in these stones

Fabric of Society


Woven copper thread, slag stone, iron chain and burnt wood. The extraction of nature's resources, the exploitation of many bodies, the imagination of many minds are all intricately intertwined and ever-present in every aspect of our lives. But how long can it last?


Photographer: Karin Björkquist

Fabric of Society
KB20014_Marcia_stones_ 68

The Reward


Iron ore suspended by crocheted silver thread, weighted by a white quartz rock on a burnt wood base.


Photographer: Karin Björkquist

KB20014_Marcia_ 9
KB20014_Marcia_ 1

Upstream


Rocks crafted out of aluminium mesh on a stream of flame-treated aluminium mesh on burnt wood base.


Photographer: Karin Björkquist

Upstream
KB20014_Marcia_stones_ 32

Mountain for the gold


Gold leaf on iron ore rocks. Base of brass sheeting on burnt wood. Sometimes we can't see the mountain for the gold, nor the forest for the trees.


Photographer: Karin Björkquist

Mountain for the Gold

Veiled/Unveiled

(Charwe's Shroud)


Photographic triptych of handwoven shroud made for the artist's great great grandmother's aunt, Charwe Nyakasikana Nehanda - a Zimbabwean spirit medium and Chimurenga heroine who was hanged and beheaded by the British colonialists in 1898. Her remains are yet to be repatriated from the UK to her country of origin.


Photographer: Ylva Sundgren

Veiled/Unveiled 3
Veiled/Unveiled 2
Veiled/Unveiled 1

Matriarchs,

Myths & Legends


This project explores the personal histories of the matriarchs in the artist's family, woven together with the mythological narratives of godesses from many different belief systems. The oration covers the epic lifetimes of seven women from six generations, and how their destinies are intertwined.

 

This project was made possible by a grant from the Swedish Art Grants Committee.

Loom portraits


An interest in the similarities and differences in loom constructions lead to this study of the tools that facilitate in the making of cloth in different parts of the world. Portrayed are a floor standing counterbalance loom and a dragstone loom. 

loom portrait 1
loom portrait 2