Sigrid Holmwood is a London based artist with rural Swedish and urban Scottish roots. Her ongoing Peasant Painter project refers to a regional Swedish tradition of rural domestic paintings called ‘bonads’.
Watch a short clip from Haystack 02 here.
“The phrase ‘A Peasant Painter’, might make us think of Breughel, Millet or Van Gogh – a long history of artists who focussed on painting peasant scenes since the 16th century. However, it can also mean a peasant who paints. In Halland, during the 18th and 19th centuries, the peasants painted. They painted large biblical scenes metres wide, the Wedding at Cana, the Nativity, Abraham sacrificing his son; they painted images of farm work, the seasons of the year, the ages of man; they painted in egg tempera, they painted on up-cycled old sheets or tablecloths; they painted on rag paper made in local mills; they painted with new synthetic colours, earths, and wildflowers and dye plants grown at home. They painted for themselves and each other.
The paintings of the Halland peasants reveal a sophisticated and cohesive visual culture in which multiple meanings and interpretations operate simultaneously, and through which we can perhaps at least glimpse their collective worldview. Seeing the interiors of where these paintings would have hung at open air museums round the region of Halland, such as Hallands gården, Bollatebygget, and Askult open air museum, with their strongly delineated and ritualised spaces, only serves to further embody this sense of an intensely close-knit community. At the same time, these open air museums were themselves established at the turn of the twentieth century as a result of the ‘hembyggs’ (local history) movement, set up in order to preserve some remnants of this culture as it slowly slipped away due to industrialisation – a process which many other rural cultures around the world are going through right now.
In this talk I will explore the concept of the ‘Peasant Painter’ and what it can mean, and explain more about my project based at Hallands Konstmuseum, my own paintings and the collection of peasant paintings there. I will also show how to make the pigments from wildplants that the peasants of Halland used.”
Watch The Painter’s Flight video here.
This Haystack is generously hosted by Cullinan Richards at their studio
6 Vyner Street, London E2.
For more information contact Kathrin Böhm:
kathrin (at) myvillages.org