In dialogue with Birgitta Sundström Jansdotter

Posted on August
21, 2012
by barry

 

Hello Miss Sundström, who are you?

I am an artist/ painter, born in Sweden.

But I moved to The Netherlands 11 years ago.

What do you do?

I am a painter, who works mostly with expressions, impressions.

Women and their surroundings, the way they live..

I usually get inspired by my own life or stories around me.

I make (kind of) a collage of these impressions, in my head

and I get a vision about what I want to paint.

This often leads to familiar images mixed with

elements of estrangement.

Sundström

I try to create some sense of alienation in
my paintings…

Sometimes I make an arm longer just because I think it looks
better

or I remove an arm or hand.

I usually make quite big paintings,

Not super big but they are not small

It gives more of a direct impression…and actually…I don’t
like to paint the heads too small.

I love to put the soul in their eyes and that is not so easy if
the paintings are really small.

The most important in my paintings are the eyes.

I see, it’s also more confronting for the
viewer because they can relate to it easier?

Yes that’s true

What aspect of women are you most drawn to?

In my latest paintings I have been working a lot around
relationships

Good or bad love.

How it feels when it goes wrong…

So what did you find out about love?

That it is not so easy…. the older you get the harder it is….

to find real love

Why is that?

If I had that answer I would not be single right now… haha

Okay, I get it :-)

I noticed none of your works (or at least, I
couldn’t find one) have a title, why?

Because I want to have an open dialogue with the viewer.

I don’ t want to tell them what they should feel.

I make half the painting and the rest comes from the viewer’s
own history.

I want to touch their souls if it’s possible.

That’s why I don’t want to come up with ready-made solutions…

My paintings have different meanings for everyone….

And I find that more appealing

Why? Is it too personal?

No. That’s not the reason…I want to touch the soul

If they ask, I will tell my history

Sundström

But people probably ask you about the meaning of
your work all the time, no?

No actually they don’t.

Oh really? That’s weird

They just stay in front of my paintings, usually for a long time,
thinking….

It is seldom that they ask me something, actually.

Maybe they’re afraid to ask, you’re paintings
look kind of dark

Hahaha…I look friendly, so I don’t think they are afraid of
me…

And if I’m there during an opening I usually introduce myself.

They can ask me anything, but they usually talk about

themselves… about how they feel

Means you look like a kind lady
:-)

Yes that’s what I meant. I don’t look scary at all!!

:-) Well I see a lot of women there, beautiful
women, they

never look ugly or fat… very stylish women also

Yes…I also like fashion and have a degree in that…

I think that that is the reason for fashion in my paintings

I also love photography…black and white…

And a lot of my paintings are black & white

Where does this dark undertone come from?

I like to set a special atmosphere…surrounding my women.

Sometimes black, sometimes a bright color.

Usually Black when I want to express feelings of sadness.

Colors are gone.

Then there’s a lot of sadness in your paintings..

Maybe half of them.

There not always meant to be sad, despite the dark color…but
sometimes.

Sadness is also an easy impression to paint…

And actually I paint better when I feel sad. Or make better
paintings…hmmm

Maybe because then I’m more in touch with the soul and feelings

And I also express feelings easier then

Yep, they look kind of emotional (your ladies),
maybe because they have strange babies, and strange pets;-)?

Hahaha

Mandogs!

They came from the long-term relation I had at that time.

I was a little bit tired to always fix everything….

It came out in that kind of painting

Are you a sensitive person?

Sometimes I am sensitive but I sometimes not so much
:-)
… I am a mix!

Complicated lady?

I don’t think so

Quite normal

Usually women are standing in front of my paintings laughing about
something

they recognize, I find that very amusing.

I love humor!!!

What do you think about women nowadays?

I think that women nowadays are more independent than some
generations ago.

We marry for love and not for stability…

If it doesn’t work out, we can always leave.

That was harder before…. and a lot of people used to stick
together because of their children.

Most of the women have a job now!

Maybe I am different …because I am from Sweden

True, but love fades slowly and then it dies…

Not if you work on it and

handle with great care!

Most people don’t nowadays…

That’s a pity

But if you make that mistake one time…

You usually learn to do it differently next time…

You said earlier ‘Maybe I am different …because
I am from Sweden’,

what do you mean?

In Sweden we learn from child that we are the same as the man.
Same level.

We work 40 hours a week and the housekeeping is also equally
divided.

I also have an education as electronic engineer…. part of it
…because I chose to work with art…

So I went another direction

Most guys are afraid of strong women

I know

and that is what I am painting

Now I get a better view:-)

How did you end up in the Netherlands?

I was supposed to go to the Provence to paint with a friend but
she got sick.

So I decided to go on, interailing on my own.

First to Amsterdam, for a day and then to Paris, and in Rennes I
met the father of my child.

He is a Dutchman…

After a year I moved to The Netherlands after a tryout for 3
months

Oooh looove, toujours l’amour!!

Yes!!!

This is a big interview!!!!!

Is it? How so?

I thought it would be a few sentences…. I checked your website

:)

You have to click on ‘read more’ hahahaha

Omg

hahaha

I was in a hurry!

:-)
I can see it now

Funny!

Thank you for your time Miss!

Thank you Barry!

Birgitta Sundström Jansdotter online: www.zweedsekunst.nl

Link to interview:  http://banananasdialogues.com/dialogue-birgitta-sundstrom-jansdotter/


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