As you've all probably noticed (if not, I didn't do the job well enough!), I've co created an exhibition with my colleague and friend, Michelle Bødker Pedersen, who's the woman behind BÖDKER STUDIO (www.bodkerstudio.com).
The exhibition, Feminine Linjer (Feminine Lines) is an exploration of the feminine energy and how it is continued and told in branches of the visual art. With Michelle's craft and my visual art, we created a universe of paintings, knit installations and engaging circles that revolve together around and among the viewers with the continuation of subtle, feminine energy.
The process behind this exhibition has been interesting! We actually approached Line Olesen, founder and owner of MAKE nordic, which is a Danish furniture brand, with the idea of a duo exhibition in her showroom in Aarhus in Aarhus Festival Week. Line was on to the idea, and we started our process around the very simplistic, warm toned rooms in Mejlgade 74.
I of course dove into my warm and earthy colours, and Michelle progressed in her cobalt blue yarns. Side by side in our studios in Brabrand, we devoted our summer to complete our feminine lines. Only when the final exhibition was set up, I realised how deep the process behind has actually been.
With the plan to travel abroad in the fall, I had the desire to make as much of myself as remotely possible before leaving - which is why my summer was all about the art. With the needed escapes to the sea, the country side or just to friends and socialising when I'd been spending too much time in the studio for too long. Nonetheless, I evolved a lot, I grew, and I got a bunch of artworks done, leaving me with the feeling like "aha - okay. How did all this happen in just a couple of months?" Of course, none of it could've happened without the teachings from Milan Art Institute, which I started attending in June.
Along with the Feminine Linjer process, I started struggling with my hormones, leaving my body with more water and weight than usual. This experience really opened my eyes to the areas where I haven't yet come to peace with my own body as it is. For a long time now, I've felt great in my body. Strong, shaped and light. The sudden experience of being heavier and also more tired was hard to grasp. I shared it with family and friends, all meeting me with acknowledgement to both me and my body, assuring me that the work of the hormones are actually normal, and it'll adjust. But it still sat with me and all the ideals I've adopted throughout my teenage and adult years. It was hard. One day, Michelle confronted me with a loving, but serious tone. She was like "you know what? Your ass looks great, and that's all I've noticed. You look greater. And the shapes are like those you are so fond of painting. Can't you see how healthy and great you look yourself?" It was way kinder than what I'd been telling myself about the physical change - and I was grateful that she was there to provoke an attitude shift. It was as if that led to the final acceptance and furthermore into salutation of my new shapes - and just as I'd accepted my physica appearance as it was, it was as if it all fell into place. The heaviness came off, the hormones found balance, and so did I. Just in time to bring this experience into my art pieces for the exhibit. I was suddenly more relaxed and comfortable, and all I'd learned about art techniques and what I wanted to express and pass on came together in playful joy on the canvases. I found style and edge. I was suggested more temper with darks, but in the subtle way I see fit - and added thick brushstrokes in darks and cobalt blues, matching Michelle's. I was ready.
The exhibition itself was such a joy. Naturally, Michelle an I both felt like we'd run a marathon before the vernissage, but nonetheless, the crowd uplifted the energy, and it was a blast having friends, family and other visitors at our first night in Mejlgade 74.
Meeting people in their first impression of the artworks was my biggest takeaway. Everyone had a favourite piece, and they were all different and for different reasons. By being in the showroom all day every day, I really got to see and feel what our work did for them. How it moved them, made them feel, and why. What I enjoyed the most was when women, who'd heard about us through the Aarhus Festival Week program, came in and saw how we'd taken back the power in the stripped body - how the femininity was in its own joy and not perceived sexually or owned by anyone but itself. I felt like I'd met my purpose during that week. And I really want to do this all again - maybe next year, or next time in other rooms, who knows.
But I'm happy to say we made it, and I wouldn't or couldn't have done it without my colleague, muse and close friend, Michelle.
The exhibition stays until September 30th 2021 in Mejlgade 74, 8000 Aarhus during MAKE nordic's opening hours - in case you missed it or want to see it again, there's still time.