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About the artist Kerstin Merlin Eriksdotter

Bronze enchants. Since ancient time mankind has had an attraction for casting sculptures in bronze. But for Kerstin it took quite a long time to find her way to sculpture and bronze. She says: “Bronze is my medium. The superior qualities of the metal make it an easy choice for me. I co-operate with the metal. You have to respect the inherent properties of a certain bronze ally and allow it to show what it is capable of. The smell of the molten metal, the softness and warmth when handling a cast figure are very appealing to me. Bronze touches, and it wants to be touched! I love my job.”

photo: Emil

Casting sculptures in bronze is a difficult and demanding craftsmanship associated with high costs. Kerstin mostly works in the lost-wax method “cire perdu” (see pictures from the process). The dirty, warm, heavy and very time consuming work is a challenge she finds both rewarding and enjoyable. She especially finds the chasing phase as a pleasurable task, though sometimes a lengthy business. Even the uncertainties in many of the stages of the process are somewhat an enticement for her. With every sculpture there are new requirements to be met and she never accepts any work which is less than 100% acceptable to her own high standard. She is much too modest to mention how many sculptures were thrown into the scrap barrel because of a perceived flaw that only she could see. But related to the complex operations in the mouldmaking and finishing she thinks it is well worth the extra money and time input that working with bronze sculpture requires. Recently she also has incorporated stone to her sculpturing repertoire. The Swedish granite has captured her heart. Time will tell where that road leads.

A collector on first being introduced to Kirstin's works remarked that he could see "love, generosity, and spirituality" transmitted through the sculptures. A piece of art is an imprint of the artist's soul. Her works carries her energetic and spirited personality to a high degree. Kerstin’s curiosity constantly drives her to investigate her own capacity, as well as what is technically possible. She wants to capture the dynamic of the moment. Whether it is in a figurative, semi-abstract, or abstract sculpture, the rhythm plays an essential role. It is like music, the artist being the conductor and the material the musicians.

When Kerstin works on a piece she often closes her eyes, just feeling the sculpture coming to life under her hands. She believes it is of vital importance that one should be able to enjoy the form even without seeing with one’s eyes. The lines never leave the figure, they always return, almost like celestial bodies in orbit around their sun. This creates energy.

“The ideas to my sculptures”, Kerstin tells us, with a smile and a playful twinkle in her eyes, “they often come to me in the middle of the night like clear images handed over on a scrap of paper by an angel or some nice little entity sitting on the bed-quilt. But sometimes they forget to draw up the “backside” of the sculpture. That’s annoying!”

With humour, elegance and depth Kerstin’s art enriches and creates moments in time, imaginary spaces, where the mind can rest a while in joy and serenity. She wishes to encourage us to go beyond what is visible to the eye and seek the secrets of life within ourselves, to apprehend our unity with the cosmos.

In Kerstin’s art it’s often the spectator who is discovered and observed by something in the piece itself and caught for a moment. The art work communicates with the beholder and creates a desire to return and continue the conversation. In fact Kerstin thinks that a piece of art is never finished until the beholder's mind has completed it in reflection of his or hers own experiences.

After academic experiences at the Gothenburg University (Law, Astronomy) she worked in both the private and government sectors. Like most people, she discovered that the normal 8-5 career experience doesn't allow an introspective and spiritual individual to fully utilize or express their creative ideas. Gradually she discovered "her real inner self", which lead to the undeniable personal conclusion that sharing timeless values and concepts reflected through art would be her optimal, positive contribution to the society.

Kerstin now runs her own business, since many years. She started her artistic career as a painter, educated at Dômen Art school in Gothenburg, went on to mosaic, where the material itself bore a significant role in the creative process – a game between the artist and the material. Here the ideas of recycling played a crucial part. Now she has moved on to sculpture as her main way of expressing herself. Kerstin had visions, ideas and sketches for proposed works. But there was no one to help her. She had to find artists and crafts people were she could apprentice to learn the many ancillary skills necessary for producing sculpture. A happening of vital importance, which changed the direction of her artistic career completely, towards sculpting, was a bronze course run by sculptor and bronze founder Vladimir Stoces, in 2010. To whom she has later been apprenticed. 2014 stone becomes a new area for her sculpting. Much inspired by the well-known Russian sculptor Viktor Korneev, as she attends a course run by him that year. This has had a great impact on her thinking about sculpture and sculpting and given her courage in her work.

Kerstin's long an interesting development can be seen through her works. Can you imagine the transition from an academic to a metal and stone artist? When it comes to her commitment to sculpture and with her relationship the bronze material, you may sense her Zen-like states where she may be working, like an instrument, transferring ideas from a different dimension to these beautiful works of art.

When asking her why she became an artist, she uses author Richard Bach’s words:

  ” ‘It’s not an easy job, but I’ve been trusted with a mission.’
These words nicely summing up what's it's all about being an artist for me”, she says.

It is quite fitting that Kerstin answers with a quote from the American Richard Bach who wrote "Jonathan Livingstone Seagull". You may recall where he instructed the young seagull to spread his wings as far as possible, and to fly as high as he could. Kerstin took that direction to heart. Everybody is absolutely astounded how much she has accomplished such a short time. Yes, she can now soar!



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