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

Army rust, 2021

Watercolor on paper, 2021. 
Excerpts from text:
//...As I was studying the rust on military objects falling apart and starting to decompose, it struck me the possibility for an environmental adapted army service. Ammunition made biodegradable, bandwagons fueled by a mobile enclosed hot-compost unit…//
//...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.


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.

"It´s a Mind Field- a suggestion in 5 chapters", 2021

It’s a Mind Field 

-misreading the military exercise ground as a way to redirect the defense system.

A suggestion in 5 Chapters... 

Curated by Maria Lind at Instagram 52proposalsforthe20s

Excerpts from a text, 2021

Excerpts from text written in an abandoned bunker.

//...The military training field, or firring range, is a place that partly lost its function and therefore opened up a space for actions that could exist in flux, as a state of discourse. Or like in a think tank: thoughts freed from their exploitation reflexes, like colorful tropical fishes carrying their own goal...//

Webbed, 2021

Yellow clay sculpture. 

Exo migratory movements, 2020

Ylva Westerlund

Exo migratory movements

21 November- 13 December



Adress: Reimersholmsgatan 5, 117 40 Stockholm, Sweden

Curator: Tova Mozard


Skogvaktarkärret, a wetland north of Stockholm – February 2020 – there is snow hanging in the air and the sounds of the Eurasian coot can be heard from the reed.

Westerlund’s aquarelle paintings serve as memorandums from a series of excursions around lake Mälaren. The major part of them depicts former military areas and a specific landscape – created through military exercise –from abandoned bunkers and bandwagons to the less visible toxic contamination of soil.

Westerlund borrows an associative style of narration from early Soviet science fiction similar to the way Tarkovsky adapted Boris and Arkadij Strugatskijs novel “Piknik na obochine” (Roadside picnic) for the screen in “Stalker” (1979).

In the same way science fiction often has been interpreted as social critique, Westerlund’s work deals with questions of environmental justice and the anthropocene through the practice of ornithology or fairytales.