Other Investigations: Malin Gabriella Nordin

Malin Gabriella Nordin is an artist from Stockholm, Sweden, who was previously featured on Make Space (here). We are catching up with her and talking about her practice and art making process.

On process:

I don’t really know how my process begins, because I think it’s always there, there is no starting – or ending point. I’m reconstructing fragments of my memories, dreams and surroundings. I often work without knowing where it’s going and that plays a huge part in my work. It really speaks to me not knowing how the finished piece will look like, because then I have to make all the decisions during the process of getting there, and for me that’s is very rewarding and of course much more exciting. I’ve never liked doing sketches, and I don’t have much patience, I just like to be in it – like a stream of consciousness. It’s important for me to not censor myself, or at least try to, though it can be really hard because it’s always a bit scary to make something completely new and unknown, but it gives me so much more than just doing stuff I know I’m good at. Sometimes I feel that it can be obstructive to think to much, so it’s also important for me to just let go at some points, just to see what happens.

For my collages I usually look for books or magazines with big pictures that have plenty of colors and different textures, and that’s mostly fashion magazines. I also use books, like those with different stone collections, but it’s hard to begin and cut in them because they’re often really beautiful, so when I do cut I save the cut-out pages.

I always work with a lot of different things at the same time, usually it’s different projects or thoughts but they are still connected to each other in some way, they are a part of a whole. It’s also very rewarding working with a lot of stuff at the same time because when I work with one piece I can suddenly realize something about the other piece that helps me move forward, and vice versa. It’s like a circle or maybe an 8 actually.

I’ve have made this sculpture of wood, which is my discipline dog, he stands in one corner of my studio and looks a little bit angry and tells me to work when I’m lazy. I’ve also made a deck of cards with different symbols and actions that tells me what to do when I don’t know.

On materials and medium:

I like to work with different materials and mediums, and go back and forth between 2D and 3D. For example, if I make a collage, I always get curious about how it will look like from another perspective, another size or in a different material. To be able to see something that was flat on a paper from a new point of view. It’s also very interesting to see what happens during this process, it’s like a whispering game, it changes a little bit every time, and in the end it could be something completely different than it was in the beginning. And most importantly, during this process, it changes my way of thinking of the piece.

Right now I’m working on some wood sculptures and also with ceramics which is quite new for me, but a lot of fun. I’ve been working with porcelain and glazes, trying to make a shape that I’ve also done in wood, to see what happens with the shape when it gets a completely new material and texture, it’s also exciting with all the different glazes and engobes – because I never really know how they will look like until they’ve been fired.

On space and site:

My surroundings and the people I meet have a big impact on me and my work. So my geographical location definitely has an impact on me, but I don’t think it’s so direct, maybe more indirect. It’s something I will notice when I’m finished with a piece, it’s like an aha experience sometimes.

Space is of course important to me. In my work there’s a lot of “characters” who interact with each other and the viewer, it’s like an social interaction. Where and how the pieces face each other is important to create a tension. It’s like they are all doing their own thing but at the same time they are co-inhabiting the space.. They stand together – standing apart. I don’t want to tell a specific story, I rather just introduce the viewer to my work (world), – to let them get to know my work with their own thoughts and experiences so they will be able to create their own stories.