Emma Göransson explores human relationships to natural and cultural landscapes over time. Through installations, interventions and objects, she reflects on philosophical ecology and living conditions for people, animals and plants, often from Sámi perspectives. Her art has a strong sense of materiality, with references to traditional textile crafts, archeology and architecture. Experiences of spatiality are always in focus, whether it is a large-scale critique of our current civilisation from a power perspective or quiet reflections on the psyche and natural landscape.
In recent times, the Sámi origins of Göransson’s family have come to add depth to aspects of her artistic work. The strong connection to nature, landscape and time has roots in the Swedish indigenous peoples’ cultural traditions, livelihood systems and world views. All people share this deep-rooted experience, but with the Sámi, the nomadic and semi-nomadic attitudes are only a few hundred years back in time, compared to the 3-5000 years of agricultural cultures.
The work Porträtt av ett fjäll (Portrait of a mountain) is based on the Marsfjäll in Vilhelmina. It was Göransson’s Sámi grandmother’s favourite mountain. Her grandmother moved away from her childhood environment and became an urban Sami who outwardly appeared to deny her origins. The installation is made up of four monumental sheer embroideries in white on white, interpretations of maps of the Marsfjäll in snow.
The embroideries frame rough map of sorts in birch bark sewn with hemp string that lies on the floor. This symbolises the gate to the underworld under the mountain. Here the ancestors and other beings live according to the traditional Sámi worldview.