Wood sculptor takes Beckers Award


Swedish wood sculptor Julia Bondesson has been named the recipient of the 2015 Beckers Art Award and is to exhibit her works at a five-week exhibition in Stockholm starting on January 24.

Bondesson said she felt lucky and surprised to receive the award.

"My art is slow, intuitive and three-dimensional. It's very encouraging that there is room for this kind of art in a contemporary art context," she said.

"The award will provide me with things that are important to be able to focus on art making: an art space and its audience; money for living costs; publicity and confidence – things that I wish all artist friends had."

The award gives Bondesson prize money of €16,000 as well as the solo exhibition at Färgfabriken in Stockholm.

The Beckers Art Award jury panel, headed by Lindéngruppen chairman Jenny Lindén Urnes, said Bondesson combined a Nordic and Eastern tension to create artwork "filled with contemplation and concentration – distinctive in a world otherwise defined by shallowness and haste".

The panel added: "Julia Bondesson is a brilliant sculptor, and with cut, carved and hewn wood has begun an investigation into the body's innermost being and its most significant anatomical structures."

‍Beckers Award winner Julia Bondesson with one of her exhibits

Bondesson said she works with wood sculpture in a figurative spirit and uses the material to make reference to the human body.

"I'm very interested in empathic ability and how this affects how we are playing the roles of humans today," she said.

Bondesson, 31, will follow this up in the coming 12 months with an installation at the "Gender Heart" exhibition in Varberg, Sweden, and Taiwan glove puppet theatre performances for an adult audience.

A graduate of the Royal Institute of Arts in Stockholm, Bondesson has studied puppeteering in Taiwan as well as art in Japan and Thailand.

The Beckers Art Award was established in 1987 and has since acknowledged several of Sweden's most innovative and exciting young artists, including Dan Wolgers (1989), Linn Fernström (2000), and Nathalie Djurberg (2006).

See Julia Bondesson's exhibition at Färgfabriken in Stockholm from January 24 - March 8.

Visit www.fargfabriken.se/en/component/k2/itemlist/category/10 for more details.