Artist: gabriel lester Tags: Permanent art

A vast number of skattered, twirling A4 sheets meet visitors in the entrance of the newly-built Student House at Stockholm University. Like a magic illusion, the white papers hover upwards in an elegant, choreographic gesture. Here, time stands still in a frozen moment.


Peter Hagdahl

Gabriel Lester’s site-specific work TWIRL flows throughout the building, as though the sheets had been scattered by a burst of air. This scene was inspired by a famous woodcut by the Japanese artist Hokusai (1760–1849).

Much like a freeze-frame, a technique used in cinema and video art – a field from which Gabriel Lester often draws his inspiration – TWIRL portrays a sudden movement, a dramatic scene, fixed in motion. The frozen gesture also generates another movement, captured within the composition, which changes constantly as the viewer moves around the sculpture. An encounter, a collision, occurs between two temporal movements, the eternal and the present.

The suspended sculpture is made of individually shaped, handmade sheets that are hung like a gigantic chandelier, with its characteristic materials and details. For a frozen moment, the blank, white A4 sheets are hovering, as if suggesting that a sudden gust of wind, a moment of change and clarity, can reveal that everything is possible and all is yet to be determined.

Astrid Trotzig