Focus: Lin de Mol

September 2020

Focus is a new series of emails from LANGart in which we put the spotlight on one of the gallery’s artists. In the current era, in which we have had to significantly reduce personal contact, it seemed a good idea to make the person behind the art more visible. We start this series with a closer acquaintance with Lin de Mol.

In our last newsletter you already read about Lin de Mol and her activities in Sweden. But there is more about her that we would like to share with you.

LANGart has been working with Lin de Mol since 2010.

In 2005 we got to know Lin de Mol better during the “Crysalis” exhibition in Bari. Before that, she was one of the artists of the gallery next to us at the time, Lumen Travo, so we saw her work every now and then when she had an exhibition there. When the relationship between them ended, Lin and us got in touch and decided to work together. In the years that followed Lin made a few beautiful solo exhibitions, “Heavenly Game” first in 2011 and “The Sound of a Humming Bee” in 2015, more recently the exhibition “Pioneer” in 2017 and to top it all off her stunning solo at ArtRotterdam “Art = Medicine” in 2020.

Lin’s work appeals to us because of the intimacy that seems to be the leading motive in all her work.  Lin always works with her immediate “social” environment.  She mainly uses herself, and sometimes her husband or daughter, as a model.  She seeks the ‘geographic’ environment herself, which can be the intimacy of a room in her house or a completely desolate place somewhere in Iceland, Ireland or in the desert of Mexico.  In those deserted landscapes, beautiful artworks arose, with props brought along and the possibilities offered by nature on the spot.  Coincidence played an important role, which was intensified by the limited time the self-timer allowed her to properly catch herself and the props. And Lin is not easily pleased, so that game with the elements and the shutter speed was also not easily played. The stories she tells in her films, video installations, photos and drawings are always autobiographical, but never sentimental.  The intimacy is felt rather than seen or understood, because it touches on universal emotions.  She currently lives and works in Sweden. Traveling to other places no longer seems necessary: Her new home offers more than enough possibilities.  In the woods around her house she takes long walks with her dog, whereby the works develop slowly but surely from idea to – currently often – photos.  In the winter, Lin works indoors in her studio. There she makes her sculptures from natural stone. Also in these works, nature plays an important role. The interventions she makes in them, the additions to that nature, keep her leading motive alive. Lin sees creating art as, by origin, a magical act. A symbolic gesture to bring an object or a surface to life. Continuing on that thought, to her art is a transmitter of energy, and works of art like batteries onto which you can plug yourself.  She even imagines it as a visual frequency or a sound, something like the buzzing of a bee. In her work she also experiments with the idea that creating and experiencing art can be a healing aid. After all, art can make beauty out of pain while the creative process itself provides peace and focus, almost like a form of meditation. While her hands are working, the mind is free and can be open to insights. Over time, these works become an artistic experiment. What is art capable of? Can it help someone else? Can art provide a space of comfort and thus increase the human capacity for compassion? These questions have since taken on a wide range of shapes and materials: From abstraction to figuration and from heavy rock to ethereal materials such as powder, silk and even light.  In an exhibition, the individual works become an installation, in which not so much the chosen medium, but more so the content and intention bring about recognisability and coherence.  By staying close to herself, Lin stays with the universal that makes us human, call it feeling, emotion or love.

 Lin de Mol speaking:

Last spring I made a film of my life under corona times for the AkzoNobel Art Foundation.  Follow the link below to view my submission.

 © ️ Lin de Mol & AKZO Nobel Art Foundation.

Here in the forests of Värmland there is no Corona. Social distancing is common here: An average of 50 trees instead of one and a half meters.

We are head over heels in the construction of our house and the only thing resembling art making is the sporadic Instagram post during my daily walks with the dog.  The forest is magical now. The Scandinavian spring is short and explosive, and after the long winter, the delicate light green foliage and the gentle white flowers scattered across the forest floor are enough to bring even the most rugged of lumberjacks to their knees. Everything is forgotten, the cold, the darkness, the slow time.  The whole summer will be all about the building because we have to be inside before winter: My first winter in my brand new studio!

What a luxury, having your work done by your gallerist

At the beginning of this year, coming home after the storm of Art Rotterdam, Ron and I started working together on the installation for the AKZO. The AkzoNobel Art Foundation bought the text ”Art = Medicine” laid out in powder;  the “wound powder” I made from reindeer moss that grows around my house.  With Ron as my executive arm, we designed an installation over email and telephone in which the work can be preserved and displayed.

And in between I designed my “Be Moss.” T-shirt in response to the climate change, out there, in the world outside my forest.  The shirt has been produced with great care:  a 100 % ecological and fair trade.  The text “Be Moss.” has the same typical cyano hue as the lichens that grow on the rocks here, to which the mottled gray color of the cotton refers.  The print on the back represents a lichen with at its centre, an opening to the universe. This particular type of lichen can become very old, sometimes centuries, but when they die, they rot away from the center outwards, making as it were, a space of themselves again.

All profits from these beautiful shirts go to the non profit organisation “8 Billion Trees” which is planting new trees all over the world.

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