Only birds shall fly and the miltary rust, 2022

Only birds shall fly and the miltary rust, 2022, Mats Adelman/ Ylva Westerlund. Installation view from Triennalen Västernorrland, Apotekshuset, Sollefteå. 11.6 2022- 10.9 2022 http://triennalen.konstframjandet.se/

R21- Nature Scribbles and Flesh Reads, 2022

Taking place throughout March 2022, PRAKSIS's twenty first residency Nature Scribbles and Flesh Reads proposes a process of collective research into relationships between body and environment, through an investigation of the impact of chemicals and toxins on human and non-human bodies. The residency has been developed with artist Kajsa Dahlberg and Index – The Swedish Contemporary Art Foundation, and brings together residents: Miriam Döring (DE), Annike Flo (NO), Sive Hamilton Helle (NO), Eli Maria Lundgaard (NO), Malatsion (DE/FR), Olha Marusyn (UA), Lexie Owen (CA), Rebekka Sæter (NO), Pia Aimée Tordly (NO), and Ylva Westerlund (SE). #naturescribblesandfleshreads @praksisoslo With the support from Swedish Arts Grants Committee.

Nuet klingar i det förflutna/ The present echoes in the past, 2022

Ylva Westerlund, by Ida Rödén in Akvarellen- The Nordic Watercolor Society magazine no 1/2022. "As well as being a painter Ylva Westerlund is a keen birdwatcher and is fond of visiting a piece of restored swampland at the Järva field. She has created numerous paintings from this area for her series “The Last Mill” reflecting upon the destruction of nature. She recreates familiar landscapes and adds another enigmatic dimension. Her nature studies are intercepted with paintings that cannot be instantly interpreted which can be due to her interest for science fiction. She wants the spectators to experience insecurity in a manner known as heterotopia (displacement/parallel universe). The Järva field area was reserved for miltary excersizes in the period 1905-1970 and since the military left, the recreated marsh has become a haven for rare birds. But the tanks still stand there rusting and the whole place reminds of a scene from a science fiction story. Via her art Ylva Westerlund describes a kind of non-existing place where we are allowed to dwell on uncertainty. She studies nature, asks questions, tests theories and transfers knowledge. The journey towards the unknown continues."

Dream Wasteland, 2022.

Mats Adelman and Ylva Westerlund. Dream Wasteland Moscow Museum of Modern Art Education Center February 10 - March 6, 2022. Dream Wasteland by Ylva Westerlund and Mats Adelman is the first exhibition in the Northern Travelogue program. This art project explores the natural environment of the Järva Field in the Stockholm suburbs. Since 2016, the artists have been conducting field excursions, to use their own term, studing birds, biotopes, wetlands and traces of human activity in the area. Their reflections result in works recognising the coexistence of human and non-human actors as an integral factor of today's reality, while the interplay of natural and cultural phenomena gives rise to possible alternatives. The Järva Field is a natural reserve and a unique example of biodiversity. Being in close proximity to a bustling metropolis, the area has been the least affected by the negative processes of urbanization, since from 1919 to 1970 it was given over to the Stockholm garrison for military exercises and was closed to the public. Today, the fate of the area is once again being tested, with its natural environment being very fragile. One of the central objects in the exhibition is Westerlund's wall painting Speak Creek. Using the feminist optics of new materialism, she creates a space of interpenetration informed by the fluidity, vibration, and vacillation of agents, ideas, fantasies, feelings, and time. This approach can also be discerned in other works in the exhibition, such as the series of watercolors Exo migratory movements. The wasteland that appears in the drawings looks abandoned, but only at first glance. Like The Zone by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky, to whose works the artist refers, the territory she describes is a bare and overt projection of our reality. Instead of the author's first-person narration, Westerlund gives a voice to the surrounding landscape with its inhabitants. Water currents, migratory birds, toxins, mud, footprints become heard in a ringing emptiness. The departure from a direct statement is a common feature in the artists’ works. The Järva field — located in the periphery — is perceived by them as a place sensitive to changes, fractures and the possibilities presented there. Adelman's and Westerlund's graphic work, The Last Machine, narrating walks and observations, breaks off with somnambulistic reveries about a perpetual motion machine in a world without humans... Unlike science, which tries to verify or falsify the hypothesis put forward, art, like science fiction, unwinds and transforms ideas. As Umberto Eco wrote, “...science fiction is the prose of the hypothesis”. That is how we can characterize Westerlund's graphic novel The New Hird, a comic book story set in a futuristic world telling us about the ecological catastrophe of the near future. The artists do not pursue an encyclopedic project with their creative method. In the sculptures and watercolors that make up the series Bird Studies in Watercolor and Bird Studies in Wood, Adelman does not attempt to catalog and present dominant knowledge of the observed species. His approach is driven by a desire to encounter the unexplored and to capture that experience. The problems of describing and interpreting such an encounter are addressed in Suspended animation, filmed by Adelman with a Super 8 camera. In the joint exhibition project, Ylva Westerlund and Mats Adelman create a space of specific visibility. They manage to reduce the distance between various agents in a shared ecology. Exhibition curator: Anastasia Nefedova

Watercolor studies, 2021

Vehicle decomposing under an oak tree. The microclimate underneath the tree seems to affect the way the paint flakes off. Watercolor, 2021

Military rust, 2021





Watercolor on paper, 2021. 
Excerpts from text:
//..."March 2020. It's early spring. 2 degrees cold in the morning. Thin ice covering the puddles on the forest road and parts of the lake. Just before dawn there was a noticeable silence in the area- no planes crossing the skies. Before the spread of the corona the aerial space over the fields had a high frequency of traffic. And now there was none. With the first rays of sun the activity intensified among the birds. A few loud yaffles from a Green woodpecker, then a Black bird flew up with a warning call. On the ground a small group of Sky larks, Wood larks and Meadow pipits. Futher down the road, by the tall Beech trees, a Hawfinch flew by. When light grew stronger over the fields a group of motorized vehicles became visible. By a closer inspection of the body work- the paint and metal directly affected by sun and wind had turned pale, fragile and flaky... Tall grass and herbs in the immediate surroundings made the objects dry and dusty. Some other deserted vehicles were spotted under the Oak trees. The specific biotope created a microclimate were moss and lichens just about managed to cover the underlying metal structures. A process close to one of biological decay..." //
//...During todays morning hike I passed hundreds of Funnel chanterelles and came back to the same stone covered with Polypody 3 times, so lost… Heard a Crested Tit, saw some kind of stone monument and discovered a shut down power line. In the end it was by the help of the sun and sound the barking of dogs that got me back to the road. Just before I was leaving the military area I spotted a group of Elks crossing a field. Their moving pattern showed that they instinctively knew that it's probably even more dangerous outside of the zone...//


A memorial of an ongoing leakage spanning from 1975 to 2021, culminating in an oil spillage 20th of September 2021.




Excerpts from text in the work " A memorial of an ongoing leakage, spanning from 1975 to 2021, culminating in an oil spillage 20th of September 2021".


//... 21 September 2021

A massive oil pollution of the Baltic Sea outside of Husum was discovered this weekend. Thick oil was being washed up on islands like Aggön, Holma and Ramön, and on the coastline shores. No one seems to know from where the oil spillage came from. Very little is said in national media.

It's disaster that now has to be removed, lump by lump. Being scrubbed off from stones, wings, skin and fur. Toxins seeping through membranes, creating a living and breathing bodily archive of industrial history.


5 October 2021

Contemplating the natural geographical landscapes of Husum shaped in relation to centuries of industrial production, it could be interesting to look at ideas of limited effects and surprise. And also the concept of luck.

Supposedly closed systems within a industrial process is based on an agreement that it possible to contain materials without leakage. And therefore an accident, like this, is a surprise. Every time. 

Luck is also often introduced as a factor after an incident, i.e. it could have been worse. Here perhaps it could be fruitful to think of perspective: who/what is the lucky subject/object.

The conclusion of these arguments seem to indicate that the industrialized everyday life should be an experience of boredom and unhappiness.


5 October 2021

In another dream, an oil clean-up operation team wore T-shirts looking something like this; which I think comes from a childhood memory...//








Den sista maskinen/ The last mill, 2021







The last mill/ Den sista maskinen, 2021.

"The northwest part of Southern Järva field, Stockholm, 12th of May 2016.

We noticed that the water level in the stream was unusually high, and still. After following the stream a couple of hundred meters further down east we discovered the reason for the altered biotope. A damming made by beavers where a number of trees from the brink had been felled to create a compound. The water levels on the west side of the dam was about to overflow the nearby meadows, but eastwards the creek was running on smoothly…

This scenario made us think of the Austrian forest caretaker and inventor Viktor Schauberger who elaborated with new biomimetic techniques in the early 20th century, based on the whirling movements of water in mountain rivers. Schauberger developed plans for a fully functional non-combustion motor, with implosion as its energy source. A motor that he perceived could save the natural world from the devastating effects of the rapidly expanding use of the explosion motor.

We could still hear the sound of the E18 highway from where we were standing. And although the stream was running through a ditch, our thoughts started to meander… From the time of Schaubergers experiments and onwards, the water running through Swedish landscapes has been cut into the ground, straightened and redirected. To lay bare productive lands for the harvesting of resources. Everywhere to be seen in woodlands and fields are systems of ditches and canals, which up until now has drained an amount of wetlands in the size of a quarter of Sweden.

In our minds we are now following a small woodland creek, leading into a concrete pipe that runs across an arable land, and in the end of the tunnel it lets us see a vision of the last machine. The last mill...
A man-made machine, but self-propelled when put into motion. Build to repair the nutrient runoff, drought damage and pollution made by the ditching and the culverting of water systems. A machine that continues to be active after hundreds of years, creating more and more wetlands and marshes..." 

An installation made by Atelier for Implosive Design- Mats Adelman/ Ylva Westerlund. Exhibition view from Phantoms of the Commons at Tensta Konsthall, 2021.

Photo: Jean-Baptiste Beranger, Ylva Westerlund.

https://www.mitti.se/nyheter/i-tensta-konsthall-stralar-det-lokala-samman-med-varlden/repujA!0iJ6hjE1XHQyVOwLKUvnaw/

Black Grouse Bay/ Orrviken, 2021











In the childhood of the Pulp/ I pappersmassans barndom, 2021,
Wash drawings printed on fabric, hanging on a clothesline.

Gigant #1985: Sulfate 3000, 2016,
Graphic novel and foldable table with drawing.

  Sentences are made of woods/ It's a spell..., 2021,
Building with incorporated fragments of wood, text and images.

Photo: Sonia Hedstrand

Views from Blånagla Artfest, Orrviken, Västernorrland, August 2021. The Blånagla project is run by artist Helena Byström, choreographer Anna Källblad, composer Lisa Ullén and filmmaker Jenny Vinterqvist.
Participants: Ellen Nylander, Håkan Bring, Minna Mannelqvist, Mats Wikström, Olle Hiort, Sven Teglund, Suchart Wannaset and Ylva Westerlund also Anita Jonsson, Lars-Ola Augustsson, Eivor Augustsson and Gertrud Edlund from the Blånagla choir.