Photo: Pasi Autio

Charlotta Östlund Variations


The exhibition Variations is based on reflections on the constant change of matter and of existence: working with fragile plant parts brings the processes of change tangibly into the present moment. By observing the surrounding vegetation, one can perceive the processes of creation and decay. This process of change, which usually takes place over a few months, can in other cases take millions of years, or be hidden within our own bodies.

The exhibition includes sculptural works and stop-motion animation. Several of the works in the exhibition are made from different seeds. For example, the spatial work Beam moves with a small volume of material through almost the whole gallery space. The English word “beam” represents both something seemingly intangible and a physical support that enables and supports an entire structure. 

The Sediment series explores artistic work as an ecosystem. What is often a mental process in artistic work – where new works are based on the experiences of previous works – is also something concrete in the Sediment series: parts of older works are included in new works. 

In music, the term “variation” refers to the transformation of existing material into a new entity, while in biology it can refer to differences between individuals of a species. The title of the exhibition, Variations, can be seen as a reference to a matter and its variations which are essentially one.

Charlotta Östlund  (b. 1973) was born in Sweden. Östlund graduated in 2000 with a Master of Fine Arts in Ceramics and Glass from Stockholm’s Konstfack University College of Arts, Crafts and Design. In the early 2000s, Östlund moved to Helsinki, where she currently lives and works. She has held solo and group exhibitions in Finland and abroad, and her works are represented in collections including the Kiasma Contemporary Art Museum, the Helsinki Art Museum HAM, and the State Art Deposit Collection of Finland. 

The exhibition has been supported by the Arts Promotion Center Finland and Konstsamfundet. Artist’s work is supported by the Swedish Cultural Foundation in Finland and the Arts Promotion Center Finland.

Beam, 2024, seeds, grass, piano wire. Photo: Aukusti Heinonen.
Beam (detail), 2024, seeds, grass, piano wire. Photo: Aukusti Heinonen.
Shots, 2024, grass, seeds, plant parts, concrete, asphalt. Photo: Aukusti Heinonen.
Afterparty, 2024, pine needles, glitter garlands. Photo: Aukusti Heinonen.
Charlotta Östlund, Variations, 2024. Photo: Aukusti Heinonen.
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