Jennie Olofsson

Investigation of Light in Darkness

What. Artist in Residence
When. November
Where.  Haparanda
Organizers. Haparanda Municipality and Resurscentrum för konst in collaboration with Svefi.
Who. Jennie Olofsson, based in Gotland

!I am a glass blower and artist. I made my decision fifteen years ago, like a flash of lightning in a hammock in Laos;” I’m going to be a glassblower”. I knew nothing about glass at that point so I contacted the only glass studio on Gotland and started my journey. My education started right there, in that small studio and I was enchanted by the ambiguity of the material, to be strong and dangerous in its working process but fragile and beautiful as finished objects. Blinded by the light of glass it led me on the right path in life. It took me to Småland and Kingdom of Glass, Kosta Glascenter and onwards to Royal Danish Academy, Glass and Ceramics on Bornholm, to Rhode Island School of Design and back to the place I grew up, Gotland. I bought an old community house with a massive lime stone barn from the eighteen hundred and started to build a dream. There was nothing in the barn when we moved in. I started my own glass studio in that barn six months later. Five years on and I sell glass in the East Hamptons and on Manhattan, to multiple Michelin restaurants in our beautiful country, on Nordiska Kompaniet in Stockholm and foremost in my own studio during my own opening hours but also in the evenings when my lovely tenant Luqaz Ottosson runs his magical restaurant ROT and serves up his food and drink on and in my glass works, which tends to turn his costumers on to the glass and gives them a solid closeness to the origins of the material. We also organize music evenings and art performance.

I thoroughly enjoy life and make my functional objects, art pieces and exhibitions and I am thrilled to be able to employ an assistant in this little countryside town of 104 inhabitants and also create room for a top class restaurant which also draws employments and people to the countryside.
My material glass is the most beautiful when it is transparent and since the day I started to learn about the craftmanship and the material I mostly work with it´s transparently. But something happened and everything around me started to get darker and without my knowledge I almost burned myself out. I solved it by using my creativity and I visit a burned forest in the middle of Sweden for inspiration and for three month I only worked with raven black glass. It gave me breathing and new perspectives. It also gave me curiosity to learn about other craft materials. I have realized that I want to continue to explore darkness but now find light and color from it.
During my time in Haparanda, I literally want to take on the dark time that hangs over us and the future, by putting myself in a physically dark place. With dark place I mean what nature, the time and the earth´s epoch force us into. I want to go out into the woods and fields to register light/color in the dark. I want to talk to people who have long lived close to the darkness of nature, how they relate to it and how they relate to the darkness of modern times such as disease, viruses and countries’ border control now in Corona times. Can I find light there?

My language and resultant expression become what the hand can create though the craft´s expression from ancient material such as bone and wood, the gaze of sight and the visual language of emotion, sound and perhaps song. I want to take the pulse of the closed border between Finland and Sweden and I want to learn about bone and wood, with all this I will make a fusion with my glass."

Jennie Olofsson
Jennie Olofsson