Curator text on Ljus för liten tall by Kristina Möster Nilsson
There is a wall in a residential home for young people in Hässleholm that stands out, where light dances out of the wall and makes a rough surface deepen with golden-yellow indentations. Here, white light slowly floats down the wall and runs out on the carpet. It continues to float while the day turns dark and then light again. If this wall can divert the mind of a single teenager, if it can make a single teenager smile or just make a single teenager feel a tiny little bit of surprising delight – then art has played its part. No one can expect more than that. If it happens, it is marvellous enough to last a normal school day and perhaps a little longer.
Where can art in public spaces be?
Public art appears in many different spaces. Also in those that are closed to people in general. The artwork in Hässleholm is part of the school’s everyday life which is not accessible for outsiders. The young people at SiS’s residential home are here because they need care, treatment and special schooling. The residential home for young people provides state-run education for students who live here during a short period of their lives. Art has been given a central location in the building and encounters the students daily. “This pine plant didn’t get a good start in life,” Lisa Strömbeck writes about the pine she has drawn on the rough wall. Strömbeck, in her role as artist, has listened to the stories shared by the young people at SiS residential home. It is as if their voices are present in the small, scraggy tree. It stands there firmly and allows the light to fall on its hardly visible crown.
Artistic experience concentrated in an artwork
Lisa Strömbeck has invested years of artistic experience into this artwork. Strömbeck’s artistic practice may be said to be multifaceted, or perhaps ambiguous. In Ljus för liten tall (Light for a Small Pine) she combines her previous artistic works into an homage to all the people on the earth who need extra care. The observant art viewer may, of course, see traces of her early light studies and photographs. Or her interest in ancient trees and experimental photographic and film techniques. In the end, however, her entire artistic practice is an exercise in artistic care. She has embraced dogs and people in loving depictions and her art has pinpointed social injustices and ways in which to remedy them. She is a powerful artistic voice who is on the side of the vulnerable. The light, the indomitable vegetation and loving core overlap into a contemplative experience in Ljus för liten tall (Light for a Small Pine).