Artist: cecilia aaro och matilda fahlsten Tags: Permanent art

Peter Lundström/Statens konstråd

For the Swedish Fortifications Agency’s new riding school at the K1 Regiment in Stockholm, a building that is used primarily by the Swedish defence forces, the Royal Guards and the mounted police, the artists Cecilia Aaro and Matilda Fahlsten have designed two round windows in digitally printed, laminated glass. The windows are placed prominently on either gable, each measuring three metres in diameter. They are intended to reflect the activities in the building: dressage, competitions and shows on horseback.Both windows are inspired by cockades. Cockades are made of folded ribbon with a round button in the middle and are used as prizes in various competitions, including equestrian sports, where they would be called rosettes. They are also used in military contexts.Cecilia Aaro and Matilda Fahlsten have previously explored military distinctions in installations with patterns inspired by war medals, which, to the artists, symbolise the darkness behind beauty, a shiny, glimmering object that sometimes embodies traumatic memories and experiences.Since it was important to Aaro and Fahlsten that the cockades appeared lively in colour, they chose to paint the motifs in full-sized watercolours that were then transferred digitally. A play with dimensions, where small becomes big, and the time-consuming act of painting is incorporated in the work.One purpose of this commission was to soften the incoming light and eliminate sun reflections that could startle the horses; but the artists have also utilised the light so that the windows cast bright, shimmering colours on the white inside walls during daytime. In the evening, when the lights are on in the riding school, the effect is the opposite; from the outside, the windows glow like jewels against the dark facade.

Peter Lundström