Maya Strandberg | Allt det jag ser skymmer alltid allt det där andra
By coiling, braiding and joining clays together, Maya Strandberg examines her own bodily and spiritual connection to the world. Her sculptural objects refer to experiences of loss, death and grief, but also of strength and courage. Essential to her work is an aspiration to get close to the world.
Strandberg's approach is an intuitive one, where the irregular and organic forms slowly emerge in the clay. The interplay between the work of the hands and the character of the medium suggests a unique will in the sculptures – as if they themselves seek their final form, but in their insufficiency fail to reach their ideal image.
While in the studio, the sculptures appear to be in different stages of a cycle – sometimes in need of rest, sometimes breaking down, drying out or being rebuilt. The ancient is constantly present in Strandberg's work and can be discerned in the shapes of the sculptures that might bring to mind archeological finds from an unknown civilization. The physical work with the clay is inspired by the fact that the material has been formed by weathering during eons of time, and slowly the sculptures assume the role of both man and nature.
In the exhibition "Allt det jag ser skymmer alltid allt det där andra" (Everything I See Always Obscures Everything Else), Strandberg is back in the apartment where she grew up with her mother. It is cluttered, beautiful and homely. Scattered around the apartment are traces of the alternative spirituality that the New Age movement brought about in the 1990s – a faint scent of musk, a Buddha in a window, chakra colors, plants, and gemstones. Back then, life was present, elevated, and magical. Thinking back on her mother today, Strandberg sees a single parent dealing with debts and strained finances turning to divination and feng shui to find comfort.
Maya Strandberg (b. 1981) was born and raised in Växjö. She now lives in Stockholm and works in her studio at Gustavsberg's old Porcelain Factory. She holds an MFA from HDK University of Design and Crafts in Gothenburg from 2009. Strandberg's work has been presented in solo and group exhibitions in venues in Sweden, Denmark and Germany, including hangmenProjects (Stockholm), Röhsska Museet (Gothenburg) and CLAY Museum of Ceramic Art Denmark (Middelfart). Her most recent exhibition was "Jordkrets" at Gustavsbergs Konsthall together with Dominika Kemilä and Lina Sofia Lundin in 2020. She has produced several public commissions and is represented in the collections of Public Art Agency Sweden. Strandberg has received working grants from the Swedish Arts Grants Committee and the City of Stockholm, among others.