»Winner 2023«

Annie Johansson

Annie Johansson completed a master’s degree in textile art at HDK-Valand Academy of Art and Design, University of Gothenburg, in 2014. In 2019 she won a scholarship at IASPIS in Stockholm. She now works as an artist in Gothenburg, and manages Temporary Stabilisations, a studio and platform for contemporary art in the Gamlestan district of Gothenburg. Annie has exhibited at venues including Fiberspace in Stockholm, SOFT galleri in Oslo and Gustavsbergs Konsthall in Gustavsberg.

  • How does it feel to receive The Nordic Award in Textiles?

Ever since I started studying textile art at HDK-Valand in Gothenburg almost 15 years ago, it has always been so exciting to find out who won the Nordic Award in Textiles, especially as a student, because these artists’ work was often so interesting to get to know, for a recently converted textile-artist-to-be. To get the award myself is completely unreal, and is really a true honour.

  • Describe your oeuvre, your work. Who are you, as an artist?

I long to disappear into the slow making of textile crafts. Textile is a material and a craft that interests me especially because of its deep-rooted relationship to the body and corporeality. In my work I often draw inspiration from topics such as private and public desire, the phenomenology of the body, new materialism, mysticism and our relationship to nature. Using the communicative capacity of textiles, I create sculptures through which I explore the physical relationship that our bodies negotiate with objects, spaces and materials. Recently I have more explicitly begun to explore pleasure, affect, and the power of eroticism in human and more-than-human worlds through sculpture and installation.

For a long time I have been inspired by the Beguine nuns, who were active in mediaeval Europe. For them, what was most true was the bodily experience, understanding, and ultimately dissolution in God/nature/the All. From a contemporary perspective, this can be read as a sensualization and an almost erotic relationship to the natural world. One question that permeates my work is whether this sensual relationship to our surroundings is necessary for us to be able to make use of the other and the more-than-humanness that surrounds us. Using sculpture I explore this approach to nature, but I go further, looking at the human body’s relationship to the textile material by way of eroticism and sensual desires; a boundless lust that goes through and then beyond the desire for other bodies, back to the material.

The jury’s motivation:

Annie Johansson is an artist who possesses great textile craftsmanship and material knowledge. Using textile as a medium, she develops artistic themes about landscape, belonging, body and senses. These can concern the sensation of touch, or eroticism, or the monumental power of forest and landscape.

Annie’s strength is her creative ability, which convinces us that she will continue to produce significant work in the textile arts. By way of her work, Annie influences and discusses the genre, and is a recognized contemporary voice.

The Jury cites Annie Johansson for her excellent ability to manage a heritage of textile experience and knowledge, and to transform it into a contemporary expression that starts out from the textile material itself.