Wool, silk and steel. Deep ocean indigo, burning earthy orange, bodily blood red, metallic mountain black - tones and dyes of earth and body. Eighteen alluring portals. Dyed silk stretched over metal (175x75 cm), silk penetrated by dyed wool. It feels as if the wool sprouts from the silk, grows into recognisable patterns, shapes, our prehistoric brains recognize from caves we have never seen. As if no human hand interfered in the creation. Cross sections of mountains, vast abstract organic landscapes and psychedelic fauna. Effortlessly these portals exist. As if you could step into one of them and walk straight through the earth and exit in another universe, in a different body. The visceral and the celestial are entangled in these pathways that vibrate with primordial energy.
For this new body of work Lænkholm studied the principles of Ayurveda, a 5000-year-old natural science, created to bring the body back into balance in order to heal itself form ailment and distress. Lænkholm was taught the practice of Ayurveda by local women during a 3-month residency in the jungle of Sri Lanka. Upon the return to her studio she further explored the origins, medicinal and healing properties, of certain plants and created her own plant and dye chart as a basis for this exhibition. Imbuing each work with different healing properties. She discovered that the principles of healing were very similar to her studio practice. Channelling energy from body to body. During the working process with The Unbearable Lightness of Being Lænkholm gradually started letting go of the idea of a defined blueprint for her work and herself, a radical transformation of approach, that is felt in every fiber of the new works.
Women have always been a source of inspiration and creation in the work of Lænkholm. Witches, mediums, craft women, artists, family members and alternative sisterhoods are all part of her practice. The process of creating natural dyes and working with wool Lænkholm learned from an old Icelandic woman during a long stay on her ancestral island - Lænkholm’s father is from Iceland and she was taught the craft in the small town Húsavík, where he was born. The metal frames for the new group of works were crafted in collaboration with the Women’s Blacksmith in the Danish Freetown Christiania. She channels a long lineage of female experience and energy into her work.
Lænkholm combines craft, chemistry and spirit in her practice. The works simultaneously appear natural - as if they already existed and were merely relocated from a mountain side to the gallery, and otherworldly – magic columns from before or after. The exhibition radiates a rare elusive transcendental energy. Everything connected.
Julie Lænkholm, born 1985, Denmark, currently lives and works in Copenhagen, when she is not conducting field research around the world. Lænkholm received a Master of Fine Arts from Parsons, New York, in 2015. Lænkholm’s practice revolves around humanity, earth, surface and energy. Her work is a manifestation – an idea with body – that is channeled into installations, performance and artefacts.
She has recently exhibited at Tranen, Contemporary Art Center, Copenhagen, Denmark and Húsavík Museum, Húsavík, Iceland. She has participated in residencies and extended research trips to Sri Lanka, Lithuania and Iceland. A catalogue documenting The Unbearable Lightness of Being and the studio process leading up to the exhibition, will be published on occasion of the exhibition.