Interview with Tove Nankler
August/September Mothers in Residence
Describe your art practice and your family dynamics:
I have three children, the first is with a father I do not live with now. I'm looking for ways to support me in an area that gives me energy and not the other way around, as I want to be able to give energy to the children. At the same time, I want to be able to choose very freely how I work so that I can be with the children when they need it most.
You are based in:
Have you lived or studied elsewhere:
Skive Denmark and Copenhagen
Has your place influenced you, your art practice, your perspective and your network: Both yes and no. The time in Copenhagen and even after that was more focused on the outside and contacts and networks. At the same time, the time in Copenhagen gave me space to find my inner self and find the interplay between the outer and the inner. Where I am right now, there is a focus on a state of mind, in everyday life with the children and the family and in my creation. Tell us a little more about how you developed your work / technics? What I create focuses on the interior. This is something that has emerged. Partly during creative architectural projects when my first was in my stomach. But also when I cured and arranged events. Inspired by the time in Copenhagen, I organised exhibitions. This was with a focus on merging different art forms and also countries into a joint exhibition under the same theme. The first two were at Lyckholm's breweries under the name Mezcla, next time I was invited by gallery Oro and then I created the theme Paradise Garage. In between, I had Culture club together with Klara Grape at Pustervik two summers in a row. Then we invited an artist and a DJ every night.
It was the last exhibition 'Inner' which was at Galleri Rotor, Valand. It was together with ten curators that we would come up with a common theme. I wanted the theme "inner" and then some wanted the theme "outer". So we split up and cured two exhibitions under the same name. Inner / outer realms (link).
We invited and cured artists such as Lea Porsager (Copenhagen), Andreas Eriksson, the sisters Von Hauswolff, the band Tross, Oscar Colliander, Adel Szakacs and more. I also organized a hypnosis session (live) which we filmed and which became part of the exhibition. This was in 2013. The exhibition was a collaboration between Valand and GIBCA extended.
The Cave, dark
Park och Natur has granted a pavilion at Röda sten for a few weeks during the warmer part of the year, as well as support of SEK 40,000 from the city of Gbg. This pavilion that I call the Cave will inspire people to become friends with their darkness. To dare to illuminate one's interior to create harmony. No matter what the outside looks like. The material is wood and clay. This is to highlight that we are by nature and are going back to nature. The technology is a combination of modern and ancient.
The cave was born from sketches and models from a childhood memory, where I would capture a life I often sought out as a child. Most of all, I found this existence in the mountains where I grew up. I have built models, sketched and photographed to describe and create this existence. The technology I use follows the idea and the atmosphere I want to create. With awareness of nature and economics. I do not use expensive technology unnecessarily or for sake sake. The idea, the atmosphere and the work come first. And in interaction with nature.
The Cave, light
What is your story about becoming a mother and has your attitude and methods changed since you became a parent: I learn from my children every day. It almost never ends, it's a constant ongoing process and development. Life that was before does not go together with how I want to live with my children. I want to be present, encouraging and harmonious. Then one must another world is built than the one that existed before or the one that exists outside. It affects me enormously, it's not the easy way. It is necessary to go against everything that is the norm and it is necessary to see and meet oneself in depth, including the dark, every day. At the same time, it's the only way, because I do it out of love. And I get love. Do you have a moment in the mother / artist duality that you want to share: To find balance in their creation and being and at the same time bring money to the family in a society that is not made for it, with all that it entails
How has your background / upbringing affected you in your choice of profession / performance as a parent: I have not been encouraged to become an artist, but mainly been encouraged through the aspect of economics and independence as a woman. What is your perception of the representation with female artists who combine their motherhood in the art world: Not much at all. Many of the older ones have not had children. The only thing I will think of now spontaneously is Karin Mamma Andersson. Mostly because of the ingenious name. In addition to those I know and respect who are active in Gothenburg. What advice would you give to new artists entering a motherhood: That the children always go first. But to be a good mother, it is important that too prioritise oneself and one's well-being. If it's creativity you feel best about, it's hugely important to stand up for yourself in a world that is not made for it. Find a network and support if it is difficult. And that everything has it's time, there is nothing worth stressing about. What do you want to bring to the table within your art community / Do you miss any discussions, themes etc:
So, by and large, that everything belongs together. To be a mother and be able to work with what you want. To live in a world with a focus on what we all already have. Instead of the other way around. Can you describe a moment or a work of art that you think was a turning point in your career: All the work I have done and not done with The Cave has made me grow as a human being. It gives me insights every day. Do you have daily routines or rituals that help you get into work mode? No, not as a mother of three. Then it's just a matter of seizing the opportunity. Drink coffee and stay awake, ha ha. However, I go out (almost) every night in the garden and cultivate and water for meditative replenishment. Where else is your studio, do you have a private space to reflect and develop and implement ideas? I have a studio space in a collective. It has provided space for exchanging ideas with other active artist mothers and has been extremely important. Do you have someone who inspires your art practice or reflects ideas with?
No, not really. The inspiration comes from within, and as a reaction to what I experience. In interaction with nature, it provides peace, power and inspiration in its own way. (How) Has the pandemic changed your artistic practice: Not directly. That I got more time when my father was home more has been positive. At the same time my third child was born a year ago in the middle of the pandemic, so we balance family and work and pandemic. Can you see yourself as a mentor to another artist: Yes. I can offer as a mentor my life experiences as a creator and mother of three. No road looks the same, but I can give inspiration that it is possible. And that the key is to dare and to trust oneself first. What makes you most expectant of your future: To be able to live on what inspires me the most and at the same time have quality time with my children and family. And friends of course.