Swedish born artist Annika Berglund graduated from NCAD in 2010. Her career includes four solo exhibitions and over 40 group exhibitions nationally and abroad. She spent a year as resident artist in NCAD (National College of Art and design, Dublin),which culminated in the solo exhibition Materiality in the Olivier Cornet Gallery in 2014.
Annika has won several awards including the Ireland Crafts Council’s price for Best Craft in the Garden 2008 and the National University of Ireland Art and Design Prize 2010.
Annika has created sculptural art work for over 20 years. Initially working in ceramics, she added glass and bronze to her means of expression around 2010. Just before Covid struck, she was looking for less energy hungry means of expression and found that felted wool suited her way of working and visual language.
She spent 2020 and 2021 skilling up in felt and fibre arts. One of her earliest felt pieces depicted the corona virus and was acquired by the National Museum of Ireland. Her latest solo show in 2021 was called Interlocked, featuring Felt work and Joomchi (an ancient Korean art form featuring “felted” paper). Lately Annika has been very active in the guild of Feltmakers Ireland and has contributed as editor and contributor to the book “Exploring Irish Wool For Feltmaking”.
My work develops through a dialogue with different materials. Over time I have been working on different themes, but the interaction with the possibilities and constraints of the given material is what shapes the final result.
Initially I worked exclusively in clay, a very malleable and responsive material, initially initially making smooth and pared down shapes that evolved into looser work where the marks of the making enabled me to let the clay speak with its own voice. When I added bronze and glass I found that they had their own vocabulary, possibilities and constraints that inspired me to move in new directions with my visual language.
The issue of energy consumption in the making of my art came into focus when I participated in an exhibition about global warming and I resolved to look at other media that would be less energy hungry. I found that fibre and felt allowed for 3D sculptural applications, a range of possibilities for surface treatments and the potential of achieving a depth of colour that I found very satisfying.
During the pandemic this new medium turned out to be well suited for making in the domestic setting, but also appealed to me due to the symbology of how these materials come together.
In felting fluffy wisps of wool and are put together loosely, wetted down with soapy water and agitated to create a very strong fabric of interlocked fibres. The wool fibres, through soap, water, rubbing and being knocked around, create connections that hold them together so tightly they can no longer be pulled apart and they become a unified whole.
The Hungry Hill Gallery Award 2011
The Hungry Hill Gallery Cork.
Best Craft in the Garden at Bloom 2008
Awarded by the Crafts Council of Ireland.
Annika Berglund is represented by Olivier Cornet Gallery.