Emma Göransson

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 maps of sorts that are sewn in birch bark and hemp string that lie on the floor. These are reminiscent of a world map where the continents are moving apart. Or are they in fact close to meeting?

OCCUPATION?
Artist.
WHAT DOES FIBER MEAN TO YOU?
Fiber is a material that builds up structures from small and thin parts. It often has grown in the form of plants, then transformed into textile. Fiber Art can be monumental as well as microscopic. I love it, since it has been part of every day life of mankind since prehistory.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE TEXTILE FIBER OR TECHNIQUE?
My favourite fiber is hemp yarn. It is timeless, part of people´s lives for thousands of years. In almost every work I make it is included in some way, big or small. In ancient Sámi culture it was used for making fishing nets.
WHAT IS YOUR MOST VIVID TEXTILE MEMORY?
I remember discovering the work of Magdalena Abakanovic at an exhibition in Stockholm some decades ago. I was struck by her monumental work, especially the “Abakans”, large pieces of woven wool hanging from the ceiling like mantles worn by invisible creatures. They seemed to originate from outer space and from archaeological layers in the ground at the same time.
 FIND OUT MORE
emmagoransson.com