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Interview with Karin Roy Andersson

Interview  /  ArtistsBehind the Scenes
Published: 31.03.2016
Interview with Karin Roy Andersson
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Karin Roy Andersson. Brooch: Backupfront, 2015. Recycled plastics, flowerpots, thread, steel, silver, paint.. 13 x 8.5 x 3.5 cm. Photo by: Karin Roy Andersson. Karin Roy Andersson
Brooch: Backupfront, 2015
Recycled plastics, flowerpots, thread, steel, silver, paint.
13 x 8.5 x 3.5 cm
Photo by: Karin Roy Andersson
© By the author. Read Copyright.

I think one of the main reasons I fell completely in love with jewelry and jewelry making is that it is so easy to bring any other field of interest into the work; photography, psychology and political debate...
Do you think that jewelry is being standardised? What is there of local and universal in your artistic work?
I recently heard a Swedish journalist talking about heritage and who owns the right to a certain culture. His conclusion was that different traditions and influences, innovations and interpretations are too entangled with each other for anyone to claim a culture or a nationality as one’s own. 
I can see trends and I can see that jewelers find inspiration in work done by other jewelry artists, but I wouldn’t say that the field is standardised. I think it is a very creative art scene with a lot of energy and ideas. A 100 year old person would probably say that these ideas are not new but on the other hand - a person who is 200 year old would probably say that even 100 year ago people were reinventing old work.

Karin Roy Andersson
Necklace: A Constant Grinding, 2012
Galia melon seeds, textile, brass

This necklace that I made in 2012 has a very classic shape and it is made of seeds. I have seen traditional jewelry from South America with a similar composition but the thoughts behind the piece and the details are different and I think that is important. 

What do you expect when exposing your work to the public (for example with an exhibition)?
Both when I expose my own work and when I make exhibitions at the gallery I am running in Göteborg - Four, I appreciate when the audience surprises me. When someone sees something I haven’t seen or when they wear it in an unexpected way. To me the creative process does not end when the piece is finished. The interaction with the viewer or the wearer, how they react on it, affects it and leave signs on it. What places and at which occasions a piece is being worn or displayed is also a part of a jewels life. 
I recently made an exhibition together with Sanna Svedestedt Carboo at the Hallwylska Museum, showing pieces from a group of Swedish artists. During the opening the education officer of the museum wore a brooch by Sofia Björkman, but she wore it upside-down - and she looked absolutely fabulous!

Frida Bowallius (Left) and Sofia Björkman (Right)
Sofia Björkman, What has the bird done?, brooches, 2015, PLA, silver, paint.
Photo by Karin Roy Andersson.​

Are other areas besides the jewelry, present in your work?
I think one of the main reasons I fell completely in love with jewelry and jewelry making is that it is so easy to bring any other field of interest into the work; photography, psychology and political debate. My work contains a lot of craft, science and humour. 

The last work, book, film, city that has moved me was...
A couple of weeks ago I saw Fredrik Rydman’s Swanlake. It was a mix of the classic themes and contemporary dance and music. It reminded me of a Baz Luhrmann film; colourful, half crazy and partly running in a very high tempo. In the scene where the princesses are dancing for the prince a fantastic tall dancer in high heels and with a white fur hat makes an amazing voguing performance. I was also very affected by the solo by the prince that you will find a sequence from in the video at the end of the page.
Dance is a mix of movement, rhythm, space, scenery, light and body, and to me dance has many connections to jewelry. They both talk to you on so many levels. 

A place, space, country whose creativity surprises me...
Saudi Arabia. People with too much money and megalomania never cease to surprise me, and even if I think that what they are creating is absolutely madness and quite tasteless I can’t help being fascinated by this boundlessness. Well maybe this is a bad example of creativity but in general I think that a certain amount of economic stability is helpful to cultivate innovations. If more people would feel that an artistic career could offer a safe economic situation I think we would see a very interesting development and a more diverse art scene.  

Is there any designer, jeweler, artist, you appreciate a lot?
There are so many that I hardly know where to start. That’s one of the reasons that me and Sanna Svedestedt Carboo have introduced the Nobel Jewellery Prize. 
One of the winners is Nils Hint, who has an exhibition at Four right now. The first time I saw Nils’ work was during Schmuck last year and I was incredible attracted to this in one way simple flat pieces. The concept - to flatten ready-made steel objects is as simple as it is genius. The heavy raw objects are turned into fine shadows with sharp details that you discover when you come close. What used to be rough tools and screws suddenly become sensitive pieces of jewelry. 

Nils Hint
Brooches and object, Shadow, Practical comb, Shadow, 2014 - 2016
Forged iron, ready-made.

What piece or work has given you the most satisfaction?
I have answered this question some years ago but I think the answer is still the same. It is a piece I made in 2009 - The water bear. Making it was a lot of work but in the end I was quite happy with the result, both technically, aesthetically and how it illustrated the source of inspiration. The water bear is a creature that can survive radiation, heat, drought and all kind of mistreatment by going into a state of cryptobiosis. It encapsulates and shuts down all the things we normally define as life and then it just waits and waits until hopefully one day things gets better. To me the story about the water bear is so heartrending and tragicomic and I actually still often think about the water bear and its ability to endure. 

Karin Roy Andersson
Necklace, The water bear, 2009
Juniper wood, silver, nylon, diamond.

Do you discuss your work with other jewelry artists or any other person?
Definitely. I have a very strong team of colleagues here in Göteborg and I also discuss work and art jewelry with other friends and family. It gives me new perspectives and helps me to solve problems and it also gives outsiders an image of what it is that I am doing.  

What is your first thought when you hear the word Future? What do you expect for?
Utopia would be that more jewelers could live from their artistic work. That they would get more time to focus on the work and be more free. I see a lot of creativity and skills in the contemporary jewelry world, but sometimes it drowns in economic issues and insecurity. Of course I do not have a solution for this problem but I think it is about finding/creating the right customers and make contemporary jewelry accessible - not only for collectors but also for interested people who might not buy a piece but who wants to see it, touch it, wear it and learn more about it.
Karin Roy Andersson. Necklace: Backupfront, 2015. Recycled plastics from snuff boxes and ice cream boxes, thread, steel, silver.. Karin Roy Andersson
Necklace: Backupfront, 2015
Recycled plastics from snuff boxes and ice cream boxes, thread, steel, silver.
© By the author. Read Copyright.
Swan Lake by Fredrik Benke Rydman
Karin Roy Andersson
Fredrik Rydman's interpretation of the classic tale of Swan Lake makes the action contemporary, with street dance meeting Tchaikovsky.
© By the author. Read Copyright.