VISUAL ARTIST HELENA BLOMQVIST
Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do.
My name is Helena Blomqvist, I am a Swedish visual artist working with photography, scenography and film.
How did you end up working in fine art photography?
I’ve been taking pictures since I was very young. It was natural for me to continue doing what I love. After I graduated from a Swedish photography university I continued on the same path.
How does the process look when you create the characters seen in your photographs?
My photographs tell some kind of narrative and I need characters to my stories. Often I choose characters from the periphery of our society.
What are your thoughts on melancholy?
For me it’s a state of mind, a sudden sadness that comes like a wave for no obvious reason.
What causes you to feel melancholic, and what happens when you feel down or blue?
I don’t know what causes the feeling. I get concentration difficulties and become generally out of focus and slow.
In what ways has melancholy inspired or affected your work?
Melancholy can be a part of the creative process, one of many moods actually. My work is, among other things, about the relentless march of time. Knowledge of the passage of time and the volatility of life makes me melancholic.
What would you say your country’s relationship to melancholy is like? Does the nation as a whole embrace it, fear it, or ignore it?
I think we try to float above the surface to not sink into the dark. The Swedish weather is a reason for sad feelings if you are a person who is easily affected by the weather.
Do you think society as a whole would be more creative if people embraced feeling blue from time to time?
It’s healthy to sometimes step down and go into your own feelings, and yes, feeling blue can start a creative process.
Do you have any particular favorite songs to listen to when feeling melancholic?
I don’t want to reinforce the blue feeling, so I listen to music that gives me positive energy.
Which books have caused a sense of melancholy within you?
Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf, The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath.
Do you have any favorites artists who capture melancholy in a particularly beautiful way?
Lady Clementina Hawarden, William Kentridge, Edward Hopper.
Top image: Florentine's by Helena Blomqvist. See all of her work here.