Malin Gabriella Nordin is in her last year at Bergen National Academy of the Arts in Bergen, Norway, completing her Bachelor of Fine Arts. Previously she has studied at Pernby School of Painting in Stockholm. Malin is currently exhibiting in a group show at Gallery Steinsland Berliner in Stockholm.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do. I was born in Stockholm but currently study in Bergen, Norway. I work with a lot of different mediums, searching for the right one for each piece – collage, paintings, sculptures.
How did your interest in art begin? What I’ve heard from my parents, my favorite hobby when I was a kid was to cut up all their magazines and tape them together again, but in a different way.. I always collected “good garbage”, which was egg cartons, empty boxes, Styrofoam, etc. and when I had enough I built different things. I guess I’ve just continued, but with new materials and ideas.
What kinds of things are influencing your work right now? I like to think about things that are uncertain, because they leave more space for my own imagination. In my work I reconstruct fragments from my memories, dreams and surroundings. It doesn’t have to be a specific dream or memory, but more the feeling or the quality of it.
What materials do you use in your work and what is your process like? My process is my own game of Chinese whispers, where I move between different mediums and techniques. Something that started flat on a paper turns into a three-dimensional sculpture from another perspective and then later becomes a collage, etc. The process continues infinitely, as leftover pieces from one project become a major part of the next project. It always begins with a thought or a question – a shape, a feeling, the impression of a dream, a sentence that stuck out to me, a memory. During the process a conversation takes place between me and the work. I need to be observant, always ready to rethink and have the ability to see the deviations from the anticipated. Meanwhile I have to be quick as to not lose the thought or the intuitive. The next step always depends on the one before.The color depends on the shape and the shape depends on the color and together they depend on their surroundings. Slowly the shapes mold into their own characters where they all have their own qualities. It becomes an social interaction where they co-inhabit the space as individuals – creating a tension between them.
What are some recent, upcoming or current projects you are working on? My most recent work is called Private Language where I invited eleven children in the ages 3 – 5 to interpret my collection of sculptures. I met with each child individually for an hour to discuss the collection: what they thought the sculptures looked like, if there was a story, etc. I asked each one of them if they felt the collection was missing something and if so could they draw the missing piece. Lately I’ve been working on interpreting their “missing pieces” into new pieces. My interpretations haven’t been based on their drawings only, but also on their personality and what they were talking about. The meeting with the children was a way for me to move forward in my personal process by incorporating their thoughts and imagination, taking the collective through the personal. All parts of this process will be exhibited and published in a book in the near future.
What do you do when you’re not working on art? I sleep a lot because I love to dream.. I also love to read books and watch movies. Travel to different places, stare into the sun. Sort out my thoughts, think of different materials.. update my blog.
What are you really excited about right now? That our Nordic freezing snowy winter will turn into spring soon (…in a couple of months), that the days will eventually become longer than the nights. I’m longing for the Swedish bright summer nights.
How long have you lived in Bergen and what brought you there? I moved from my hometown Stockholm to Bergen in 2010, because there was a lot going on at the time, I just felt that I had to go somewhere else to be able to focus and take some time for myself. It’s like my own little bubble here, where it’s just me, my own thoughts and my own schedule.
What’s your favorite thing about Bergen? In Bergen it rains 265 days per year.. which actually can be a great thing when you’re working in your studio, because you don’t get tempted to go out – so you just continue working instead.
If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go and why? Right now it would be Rio de Janeiro so I could run directly to Bibi Sucos and eat a bowl of açaí with granola.