LINTEX in the studio: Reflections on a creative environment.
Photography: Pia Ulin
Styling and text: Cilla Ramnek
Artist: Viola Sparre
Product design: Halleroed
A studio, an atelier – what does it need? How do you design a room for free thought and free creativity? Is it possible to suggest general guidelines? Maybe not. After all, everybody does it their own way. Fill it with interesting objects, leftover materials and random clutter, think some, while others delight in the exact opposite. Orderly, tidy, all clean lines and angles and sharpened pencils, waiting in silent readiness.

This is a schoolroom, comfortably worn and lightly maintained. A forgiving environment that bears the unmistakable traces of many years of creative efforts. Sometimes it hosts a group of creators. Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you can have the run of the whole room, spreading out however you like.

But the process itself, what’s it all about? It might begin in a kind of chaos, a collecting of materials. Moving on pure intuition in broad circles around a subject still not fully formulated. Searching and finding, a feather perhaps, or a wrinkled bag in a tempting shade of lemon-yellow. Posting old sketches and notes to the wall. A word, a sentence that pops into your head – best to jot it down on a writing board before you lose it! Slowly a collage of words, images and little drawings emerges in the room. A miniature universe, this, that and the other in physical form, and in the best case, you begin to understand which way you’re going.

Viola’s paintings spring from childhood situations. Experienced, dreamed or imagined, all with a palpable emotional charge. Like an archaeologist of feelings, she joins together fragments, creates snapshots of particular moments. A blanket, a glimpse of wallpaper or the way the light falls on shag rug, details excavated from the mines of memory. It hits the viewer right in the solar plexus and they think, yes, it was like that for me, too!

Writing and bulletin boards are filled and erased as the work progresses. It’s as analogue a process as could be. Compositions emerge and evolve, sometimes so fine they demand to be documented.

— Cilla Ramnek, Stockholm 2022

Artist Viola Sparre