This year has seen a number of Nordic illustrators, designers and artists finding inspiration in the Netherlands. With residencies and exhibitions taking place from Amsterdam to Tilburg, we thought we’d introduce you to a few of these creative Nordic explorers.
Already this year, we have written about Finnish filmmakers in Nijmegen and Swedish fashion designers in Amsterdam. Now we turn our attention to illustrators and graphic designers who have found inspiration in the Dutch landscape. We are pleased to make your aquaintance with Rán, Linda and Kustaa.
First up is Rán Flygenring, an Icelandic illustrator who first came to my attention as the official illustrator of Reykjavik in 2011. Three years later saw Rán taking-up an early summer residency in De Appel Arts Centre in Amsterdam.
Here, she took up position as ‘the roaster’ by appointment of performance artist Michael Portnoy where she went on to ‘improve’ exhibited works through ingenious illustrative workings. During her time in the Netherlands, she also captured life in Amsterdam in her drawings, and delighted us with her highly entertaining ‘illustrated live-feeds‘ during the Eurovision.
Linda Linko is a Helsinki-based designer and illustrator. As an independent designer Linda’s goal is to narrow the gap between design, illustration, and art. Her works are completely hand made, down to typography. Linda mostly works with traditional methods of painting, drawing and cutting. She does not use computer programs until the final stages of the work.
Linda’s illustration work varies from simplified black ink paintings to wild colourful collage art. Linda’s work uses bold shapes and odd textures, combining them with intuition. This is evidenced in her recent work, undertaken in collaboration with Frame Publishers in Amsterdam. Linda’s illustrative touch can be seen on the cover (and within the pages) of the celebrated 100th issue of Frame magazine (out soon).
She has also undertaken a limited-edition series (of six pieces) that is currently being exhibited at the Frame store until 1 October 2014. The ‘Amsterdam Series’ can be seen at the Frame store, at Felix &Foam, Keizersgracht 324, Amsterdam.
Finnish artist and designer Kustaa Saksi resides in Amsterdam and his work combines organic qualities with uniquely detailed textures and an energetic colour palette. He currently has a series of vibrant, surreal tapestries as part of his Hynopompic exhibition on show at the TextielMuseum in Tilburg.
These works depict Kustaa’s interpretation of the hypnopompic state of semiconsciousness — the hallucinatory and uncertain state upon waking between sleep and reality. All the pieces on show began life as one of Kustaa’s distinctive graphic artworks, before each screenprint was transformed on a mechanical jacquard loom.
There is an accompanying film (see here) that illustrates the design and development work of creating the tapestries from the original artworks. The exhibition runs until 2 November at TextielMuseum, Goirkestraat 96, Tilburg.
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