|Ingalena Klenell's glass postcard hangs against the windows of the House of Sweden until May|
|A postcard on glass intermingles with reflections|
and views of the Potomac, from inside the
House of Sweden, Washington, DC
Klenell made the postcards from realistic photographs that have been transferred to glass. The glass windows, though, have holes in them to evoke the fact that memories are incomplete and imperfect. The artist believes in the importance of connection to place and emphasizes these links. Therefore, the largest glass installation is a mirrored reflection that evokes the place of display, the rapidly flowing waters of Washington's Potomac River and the Chesapeake Bay region.
Artist Ingalena Klenell is from the province of Varmland, a region of in the middle of the country that is the focus of the Embassy's current promotion and display. We see her installation along with displays of regional storytelling, some of the beautiful fabrics of the region, and a historical home celebrating its 250th aniversay.
|Table glass to celebrate the 250th birthday of the Baroque|
von Echstedtska Manor in Varmland, made by
Krenell made a table display with gorgeous place settings of glass to celebrate the birthday of the home being referenced, the von Echstedtska Manor, a masterpiece of the Baroque style. Her precision and attention to detail show in the roses, horses and swans on the table. She uses a mixture of glass techniques such as hot casting, kiln-forming and kiln casting.
Of her work, Klenell has said that there is a brittleness and a vulnerability of the glass medium. These qualities combine with light as the source of inspiration and are intimately intertwined with the search of what is central in the human condition. (Information taken from European Glass Context 2012 website, an exhibit of the best in European glass, in Bornholm)
|Centerpiece of the Birthday table celebration|
by Klenell at House of Sweden
Certainly Sweden has a rich tradition of beautiful glass. I think of the wonderful glass products produced by Orrfors and Kosta Boda, which originate in Sweden. Everywhere in the exhibition, it's clear that Klenell was inspired by her landscape, the tall firs, pines and birch trees but also the snow and the icicles. Her art is at the intersection of folk art, decorative arts, craft and the avant-garde art of today.
The beauty of icicles especially is difficult to replicate and even the finest of artists struggle to capture the beauty of nature. Ingalena Klenell succeeds. I only wish I had seen the huge glass forests that were on display in Tacoma, the Figge Museum in Davenport and Minneapolis.