Madelaine Sillfors (b. 1982 Kiruna, Sweden) employs a wide range of media, letting the story shape her material sensibilities.
The pieces I make are sculptural. I would say words create the sculptures. I find a word, or get inspired by a story. A spark is lit in me, curiosity, and I work from there... I use mixed material; wood, textile, found objects. Sometimes I weave in video or text made in the same way, I film things I come across that awakens something in me, found objects, I use quotes, or pieces of text important to me.
A backdrop for all I do, is a slow realization that what is my city, my bodily knowledge and a big part of my heritage is being erased from the surface of the earth, and also, that surface, will disappear into a black hole in the ground.
Growing up in Kiruna, both the physical, and the psychological environment, was highly affected by the mining industry. To extract all the valuable ore, the whole of the historic city centre, needs to be removed. And this is an ongoing process today. It is a confusing blend of sadness and loss, and of realizing, this is what people want, most people see this as the only way forward. No matter the effect on the environment, the unique and exreme nature and wildlife, the cultural landscape and the reindeer herding industry. I criticize the history I have been written into, I stopped working in the mine, and I am slowly finding my way to my art practice. My current goal is to find a curator or mentor together with whom I can develop my art practice to the next level.
I am interested in how history (-ies) is written and told, especially about women, and how that affects us all. I want to do personal work, but reach out on common grounds. I am curious about myths and mystery, I like to delve into esoteric texts and the power of language. I am looking for an artistic language or method to approach the questions I surround myself with, like: can you create your own life, how much freedom does one have, how much does your past affect your future, what part of that past? Is everything really up to you (to the one heroine) or how could we talk about the collective – what do we need each other for and what do I need to sort out for myself? What is really the future?
Sillfors has received the Bror Hjort Fellowship Drawing grant (2011), Anna-Lisa Thomson memorial grant (2014) and the Fredrika Bremer Fellowship grant (2013).
Selected exhibitions: Uppsala Art Museum, Bildmuseet (Umeå), Bror Hjorts Hus (Uppsala), Galleri CC (Malmö), Kiruna Stadshus, NortäljeKonsthall, ZK/U (Berlin), Hilbertraum (Berlin), Detroit/Stockholm. She has participated in Artist-In-Residency programs at the Bauhaus Stiftung in Dessau, Germany, in Majdal Shams, Occupied Golan Hights, and at Interface Art Residency, Inagh, Ireland.
2016 BauhausLab2016, three month Post Grad at the Bauhaus Stiftung in Dessau
2012-2014 Master program, Umeå Academy of Fine Arts, Umeå University
(prof. Florian Zeyfang, Swetlana Heger.)
2008-2013 Aesthetics 60 hp, Umeå Academy of Fine Arts, Umeå University
2009-2012 Bachelor program, Umeå Academy of Fine Arts, Umeå University
(prof. Ingo Vetter, Magnus Wallin, Ann Edholm, Carin Ellberg.)
2007-2009 Basic art education at Umeå Art School.
SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS
2020 FÄLLA, GRAAL, FILT, PORTAL (TRAP, GRAAL, BLANKET, PORTAL), Galleri Verkligheten, Umeå.
2018 Every grain a color, Nordic Councel of Ministers, Copenhagen.
2017 Sila/Sift, at Galleri CC, Malmö
2016 Drawings, at Kiruna City Hall, Kiruna Konstgille, Kiruna
2014 The Masterpiece, at Galleriet Umeå Academy of Fine Arts, Umeå
2011 Drawing Stipend exhibition at Bror Hjort's Hus, Uppsala
SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS
2018 Die Freie Variable, Schimmel Projects, Dresden
2018 Location Fuck Me, DNA Den Nordiske Ambassade, Copenhagen
2017 Surface Tension, Interface Art Residency, Inagh, Ireland
2017 Tunnelsyn, Detroit, Stockholm
2017 Switch, at Hillbert Raum, Berlin
2016 Desk in Exile: A Bauhaus Object Traversing Different Modernities – Bauhaus, Dessau, Germany.
2016 Art – young perspectives, Konstfrämjandet, Lindängen, Malmö
2014 Anna-Lisa Thomson in memory, stipend exhibition, Uppsala Art Museum, Uppsala
2014 Konst i Ån, Norrtälje Konsthall, Norrtälje.
2014 Cultural Capital, ZK/U, Berlin. Curator Victor Neumann.
2014 The Language of Color, Slakthuset, Stockholm.
2019 100 – A group exhibition of 100 nordic artists, together with and at Galleri CC, Malmö
2019 Education through Art – Magdalena Nordin, Galleri CC, Malmö
2019 Underlying resonance, Galleri CC, Malmö
2017 Ozymandias, Galleri CC, Malmö
2017 I hate Nature and Nature hates Me – Wenche Chrusell, Galleri CC, Malmö
2016 Resistans – Sara Alfredsson, Galleri CC, Malmö
2017 Interface Art Residency, Inagh, Ireland
2016 BauhausLab2016, Dessau, Germany
2012 Occupied Golanheights, Majdal Shams, Israel.
SELECTED GRANTS AND STIPENDS
2018 Aase & Richard Björklunds foundation
2017 Malmö City Studio Grant.
2014 Anna-Lisa Thomson in memory.
2014 Lindell-stipend, Grafikens Hus Vänner
2013 Fredrika Bremer-foundation-stipend
2011 Bror Hjort Hus's drawing stipend
2020 Examinator at Umeå Art School
2019- Curator and director at Museum Anna Nordlander, Skellefteå
2015-19 Association chairman (-18/-19) and board member at Galleriföreningen Galleri CC
2018-19 'Twist the Map' – Opstart project funding to develop cross-geographical cooperation for artists in Umeå, Vaasa and Trondheim, together with artist Linnéa Therese Dimitriou.
2017 Writer of travel article in the magazine Bewegung – Bauhaus no 8 ISBN:978-3-95905-105-7 © 2016
2017-18 Leading Art Course for families, and adults, with The Red Cross center for wounded in war and torture and Moderna Museet Malmö.
2016 BauhausLab2016, Post Grad at the Bauhaus Stiftung in Dessau. Research project. Travelling to London and Lincoln (Mass) and Harvard. Working in archives and museums producing an exhibition for Bauhaus Buildings in Dessau.
2015-17 Board member and runner of CirkulationsCentralen artist cooperative in Malmö.
2015 Commisioned work by AbbVie and The Cátedra Arte y Enfermedades (Art and Diseases Chair) at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Valencia. Produced 3 artworks for their project Perspectives – Art, Liver Diseases and Me.
2014 Jury member, selecting and interviewing applicants, Umeå Academy of Fine Art.
2012 Publication Latent. Poets: Mattias Alkberg, Frida Selander, Charlotte Qvandt, Carl Åkerlund. Artists: Ida Persson, Gerd Aurell, Johanna Hästö, Madelaine Sillfors. Layout: Sillfors. Isbn: 978-91-978914-4-48