about the work
Spaced 3: north by southeast is a program centred on an artists’ exchange between Nordic and Australian visual artists, managed by International Art Space in partnership with key Nordic and West Australian organisations.
The program will span three years (2016–18) and comprise 12 residency-based projects that will take place in regional, remote and outer-urban locations in Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Iceland and Western Australia. Nordic artists will undertake their residencies in Western Australia, whilst Australian artists will be placed in the Nordic region. These residencies are positioned as the means to develop new works that will be created by each artist in response to their engagement with the social, environmental and historical contexts of the host communities.
Selected artists are: Robyn Backen (NSW), Keg de Souza (NSW), Deborah Kelly (NSW), Danius Kesminas (VIC), Sam Smith (NSW), Dan McCabe (WA), Gustav Hellberg (Sweden), Hulda Ros Gudnadottir (Iceland), Tor Lindstrand (Sweden), Linda Persson (Sweden), Michelle Eistrup (Denmark) Heidi Lunabba (Finland).
Selection by Marco Marcon (director of spaced3) and ArtLAB (Daniel Peltz & Sissi Westerburg) for Rejmyre residency
barn wall - charcoal drawing performance
PROPOSAL TO THE COMMUNE: TRAVELLING BARN WALL By Robyn Backen
I am proposing to create a performance artwork in the centre of Rejmyre. It will be presented during the week prior to and on Saturday 2 September at the District Festival. I am writing to the Commune to explain my intentions regarding this artwork for the community both living and visiting Rejmyre. I am an establish Australian artist and I have recently returned to Rejmyre for the third time to work with Sissi Westerberg and Daniel Peltz – Art LAB. This time my project is funded by the Australian initiative SPACE3: North by Southeast. For further information please visit here.
Over the next 4 weeks I will be working on the development of a series of works which have developed during my residency at Rejmyre Glass factory and responses to the Swedish landscape in general. One of the works I am proposing to build is a mobile barn wall that will carry a text encoded into the slats of the transparent structure. The words will only be legible once the sun or artificial light projects the inverted letters onto the path/road.
I propose that a shadow-drawing is created on the ground surface by the invited community members, children and tourists. The drawing will be impermanent charcoal and or chalk. This performance element is inclusive and will enable community engagement in the process and inevitable discussion that will evolve for the action. The text will be a series of Swedish words that are still bring considered. I am looking at the double meaning and interpretations of language for example BARN in English is a shed or place to protect animals and in Swedish it means child. I will create a compound word—I am still working on this element I have organised with Ulf, the Owner of the Glass factory that I will build the work at the back of the factory, with the support of the experience artist Olav Lunde from Finspång.
Below is my proposed timetable
- Tue 1- Sun 13 Aug: Finalise design and materials and discuss locations with specific
- Mon 14 Aug – Fri 18 Aug: Order and construct frame & letters
- Tues 15 Aug: Working with Olav afternoon buying wood/steel/rollers
- Mon 21 – Fri 25 Aug: Add letters to frame in Rejmyre
- Mon 28 – Fri 1 Sept: Performance in Rejmyre (document)
- 2 Sept: EVENT Continue Performance in Rejmyre town centre
In 2017 Robyn Backen (AUS) presented the sound installation I am Jet Black Glass, integrated in the environment of the Reijmyre Glasswork’s shop. Thirty glasses have been purchased and reinstalled in the back room–the discount section of the shop.
One of the glasses has been selected to speak from the back row and she speaks about what it is to exist as a glass object. The following is an excerpt from her words…
I am GLASS I am created of a mixture of Earth’s minerals, formed by alchemy of time I am GLASS I am born transformed in the blasting heat of the fiery furnace I am GLASS I form the gossamer thread along which communication travels I correct impaired sight and thus bestow enjoyment of the printed word
Robyn Backen was in Rejmyre Art Lab’s artist-in-residence for two months as part of the Spaced 3: north by southeast program, which places Nordic and Australian artists in small communities in Western Australia and in the Nordic region. Rejmyre Art Lab is one of the Nordic host institutions of this project. This is the second part of Robyn’s residence, which began in the summer of 2016.