ARTIST STATEMENT

My artistic activity is founded in painting. During the past years I have explored art’s connections to the occult world and to different esoteric traditions. Religion, religious experiences and meditation are important parts of my artistic work and of my life. My images are often based on existing images within the esoteric and mystical traditions and can be seen as a map-making of their symbols and archetypes. The metamorphosis and the generation of new meanings that takes place during the work process can be likened to a magical and alchemical work. I’m interested in re-organising and further developing these image-worlds and placing them in a contemporary context. Can artistic work function as a proto-science, like alchemy, to explore this? One of the potentials of art is that it can work as magick, in the sense that it deals with an apprehension of reality that claims you can affect the physical realm by having contact with the transcendental and metaphysical realms.

My images work both as magickal sigils and meditations but also as introductions to hermetic philosophies and methods, to present an esoteric way of thinking for the viewer. This combination, that the works function both as things to be used and as information carriers, is very central and important to me. I think it’s very important that artists try to create alternative environments and act in non-compromising and alternative ways. It’s important that art can be a mental free-zone, with time and space for contemplation and afterthought. The artistic work is therefore especially well suited for the exploration of dreams and visions of the mystical side of existence. These areas have always been very close to the esoteric and occult. Can art be used as a platform for the most important question that no-one can escape – what happens after death? And how should we relate to that during life?

Fredrik Söderberg 2010
© FREDRIK SÖDERBERG