Erika Lagerbielke at Galleri Glas
Erika Lagerbielke remembers swimming in the Baltic Sea during her childhood. Diving off the Gotland shore she would open her eyes below the water’s surface. She saw light and darkness. Reflections, shapes and sea weeds. A feeling of freedom. And a sense of beauty. Water has always fascinated Erika Lagerbielke and it is the source of inspiration for her exhibition En Blå Planet at Galleri Glas.
"We live on a blue planet. Over 70% of the earth’s surface is covered with water. Blue has always been present a base tone in my art, just as water has been a constant source of inspiration. As a child, water was about joy and freedom. To be in the water felt effortless and free. As an adult however, water is also about taking responsibility. For me, water is sensual and inspiring, but also an exposed natural resource."
The glass objects in the exhibition carry different qualities of water and reveal the similarities in materiality between glass and water. While water is a continuously moving liquid, glass is a non-crystalized solid that moves like a liquid under high temperatures. This exploration of the liquid qualities of glass and water has led to a great variety of vessels, swells and drops: An intriguing duality between perfect shapes that are cut with greatest precision, combined with seemingly collapsed organic and soft shapes.
Beyond the liquid properties, Erika wanted to bring in the shimmers and reflections of the water surface, as well as the softness of the waves. Her aim was not to depict water and visualize it, but rather to play with its essential qualities and translate it into a feeling and sensual experience. It is an invitation to look at the work and find your own story. What is seen, is up to the imagination and world of the viewer.
The exhibition also features three champagne glasses, each with a distinct design: a classical and elegant bowl on a high and ultra thin stem, a romantic and glamorous coupe with a wavy base, completed with a colorful and artistic stemless flute. Three designs that celebrate champagne in their own special ways, as well as build a bridge between Erika’s art and her elaborate work in stemware design for Orrefors. A longstanding collaboration that will celebrate its 40-year anniversary later this year.
"When I look upon 40 years of work with Orrefors and Kosta Boda, since 1982, one of the things that comes to my mind are the many people I have had the pleasure to work with. In both my artwork and my design projects I work with highly specialized teams. While I hold the creative vision, they contribute with their experience in glass making to bring the concept to the very best outcome. There have been many exciting discussions over the years that eventually have led to new innovations. Rather than looking back though, I prefer to look ahead to all the openings and possibilities that are in front of me. There is so much more in glass that I want to explore."
En Blå Planet will be presented at Galleri Glas in Stockholm from 10th of March until the 13th of April 2022. The exhibition contains unique objects as well as limited edition pieces.
Erika Lagerbielke (born 1960) studied Industrial design at the University of Arts, Crafts & Design in Stockholm. She is a professor in design at Linnaeus University, Växjö, where she works with education and research. Her fields are the importance of artefacts to the meal experience, The cultural heritage of Swedish glass, A sustainable approach to glass development
Lagerbielke has received several national and international awards, for example for her stemware designs Intermezzo, Difference and Merlot. Her most acclaimed special projects include the wedding gift to the Crown Princess Couple Victoria and Daniel from the Swedish Parliament and Government in 2010, Linnaeus University’s vice-chancellor chain, the St. Sigfrid Crozier for the Diocese of Växjö, a unique set of stemware for Michelin star restaurant Operakällaren in Stockholm and the bowl for the font in Christ Church Cathedral in Oxford. She has been awarded with the Prince Eugen Medal from HM King Carl XVI Gustaf for outstanding artistic achievement (2010), as well as the City of Stockholm St. Erik’s Medal (2014).
Galleri Glas, Stockholm: 10th of March – 13th of April, 2022
Kosta Art Gallery, Kosta: Autumn 2022
Written by Stephanie Verstift