Earlier this summer I had the pleasure to meet this wonderful Artist from Denmark, Ida Elke from Elkeland Studio. I had purchased some of her Art for my home and the more her pieces were ‘at home’ the more I wanted to know about her Art. After quite a few conversations and getting to know her a bit more, I wanted to share what she’s up to this fall. Elke has a beautiful family and works on her spare time in the beautiful countryside in Denmark.
•I’m so in love with your wall hangings, I always feel intrigued when something is handmade, it’s extremely personal and brings the artist into our homes almost..
How did you come up with this idea?
Thank you very much. It has been more than a year since I made the first one. I was inspired by the new interpretations of wallhangings and tapestries. I had made this folklore inspired one, for a particular exhibition. So I sat with the materials in hand, and aimed to make a simple nordic version, with the two “warm” materials of wool and copper. I placed the two materials in a composition, with focus on their different nature, density and relation to gravity.
I think that gravity, in terms of it’s properties, is a subject of inspiration. I’m very curious about the process, since nature’s properties are inspirational to me.
•What can you tell me about traditional Danish craft and what are your influences?
Actually I do not know anything particularly about traditional Danish craft. Aside from that I have intercepted here and there. I am not educated as a craftsman, since I have always had more interest in thoughts and ideas, and visual connections.
Yes, I know, as an Artist you’re educated and influenced by Art, I completely understand.. a piece becomes Art when there’s a background thought in the process, an idea and a connection with other concepts. It’s not always easy to draw a line. I love the feel of your work, specially your drawings, they have a pragmatic feel, at least to me. They’re also are very natural, and that, speaks to me.
•When it comes to art and design, what interests you, I know it’s a wide field and a compressed question, but what catches your eye in this sense on a regular basis?
Is is really hard to pinpoint. My interests are at the same time broad and narrow. I admire people who travel across disciplinary boundaries.
I’d be willing to say that your spot in the woods is a wonderful place to design and be inspired. Can you tell us more about your studio?
My studio is placed in a small cabin in our garden, right next to the hens house :). This is my sanctuary. The place where I can go to, when I need to contemplate on my work and processes. This is where it all began, and from where Elkeland emerged. I always get this quiet and calm feeling, when I enter.
However, the cabin soon became too small. Boxes, cardboard tubes and other necessary packaging, piled up. So I was so exited, when I found out about the empty farm in the villages. It has a barn, which was formerly adapted to a sewing room ( in the 80´s..) I talked to the owner, and he agreed to rent me some square meters in the barn. This is now my workshop and storage, together with the cabin, it gives me a lot of possibilities in different kinds of work.
It sounds very relaxing to me…
•What is intricate for you? Meaning, in my own experience, I start with an intricate idea and evolve, and usually end with it’s most simplistic form. Do you consider yourself a minimalist in some way?
I know what you mean, a work often begins with an unarticulated attraction towards something. It is often through the process, the matter and meaning is revealed. When this is recognized, it is obvious to proceed with focus on the essential. So as the work evolves it gets more simple and strong.
I think minimalism is very cool, and I sympathise with the ideas behind. But I am somehow too influenced by magical holistic thinking in ex- folklore and poetry to become one myself.
Love the simplicity of the wall hangings and the natural understated feel. And completely understand where you’re coming from. It sounds fascinating, specially Scandinavian folklore and the holistic and natural aspect of it.
•What are you current projects and projections?
After a long period of quiet work, I have two small collections that are almost ready for take of.
The one, is a few mirror mobiles, that are very simple and understated, in terms of mobiles. Yet I am really content with their expression. They are made of brass and double acrylic mirrors that are linked together with jute, so that they form geometric contours. I like the contrast between the raw jute and the shiny mirror and brass. I hung some samples in my studio, and they made that subtle play of light. They are perfect to make a doll or dark corner sparkle.
The other one is more process orientated provisional work. A growing collection of artefacts handmade from papier mache, rattan and occasionally goathair.These easily shapeable materials allow a quick collapse between development and excecution. Errors and trials will still be visible, as they bear witness of drifts and detours of mind. I have thrown myself into making a floor lamp of thoose materials, from scratch, without any drawing.
That sounds so beautiful and I’m excited about your new projects. Thank you so much for taking time to chat with me. All the best to you and looking forward to seeing more of your work!