Cecilia Sikström
FAI Process Video
2014
Inspiration for “Thousand Needles”

In consideration of the guidelines of this project I want to represent a uniquely Swedish experience, but also a very personal perspective which is very much related to the focus of my paintings. Fashion has been an essential consideration in my life since I was very young and I have distinct memories of having to wear ill-fitting boys clothing because my parents were very tight with their money, and also of my father making me wear far too much clothing in the winter months due to his fear that I would be afflicted by the cold. These were very constricting experiences where I felt like I could not use my whole body and that I was being forced to hide my true being, which is very free by nature. So I want my artwork to represent these personal feelings about clothing in the Swedish winter, but also the jubilant color of the skies as they reflect upon the Swedish landscape during the summer, the flowers that grow all over the land, the toys we played with when we were young, all of which are full of a childlike energy which is very different from the dull gray costumes and drab houses we put ourselves in as adults. I am very directly influenced by looking at fashion, of the fine materials of silk and leather, of the way fabric hangs upon the body to accent the person, and how the colors that a person wears works for or against them. The structure of textiles inspires how I construct the colorful backgrounds of my art, which are single colors made up of thousands of different marks. For this dress I would like to make a black, like the little black dress that every woman has in her closet, but also because black is the color most destructive to nature both literally (as in the black dying processes of the textile industry) and symbolically. I am always working against being too structured by making fast gestures and destructive movements, like a child playing with stenkulor - free and alive! It is as though I am building and destroying at the same time, and I believe these ways of working are not so very different and are in fact absurdly dependent on each other, like painting is to life.