Tension in Texture
For years, we have curiously admired the work of Ida Vikfors – at first, as a pattern designer and artisan in textiles, and more recently, as an artist – from afar. When we felt that the one vertical wall in TypeO Loft had been gaping empty long enough, we got in touch to ask her whether she would consider making a piece for our guests to enjoy. We were thrilled when she obliged.
‘Oivi’ is, in its neutral colours and minimalist expression, a lovely addition to the loft and perfectly mirrors our idea of slowing down and taking the day as it comes. The sculptural lines and ribbed texture captures the light and comes alive, and is therefore in transition throughout the day. We spoke with Finnish-born Vikfors about her work and inspiration.
Photography: Ida Vikfors and Micha van Dinther
The visual appearance of your works is minimalist and tranquil. What is the philosophy behind your signature style?
My works are a reminder to the viewer to be present. The pieces are modest and need a bit of attention to reveal their personality. Depending on the reflections of light, different shades and shadows create sculptural lines that form a surface that is restful to behold. The works appear tactile and almost a bit fragile. In juxtaposition to the tough surface, that creates tension between the true properties of the material, and how it is being perceived. That is the thing that I love and that I want the viewer to experience.
With a background as a pattern and textile designer, working with supple and soft materials, how did you end up using such hard and stark materials in your artworks?
I do not like to define a material in a certain way, but instead, take advantage of how to transform and use its qualities. I think that it is up to each and everyone to label the experience that comes out of looking at or touching a material. Textile has always been an important part of my creativity, and something that I will continue to work with, but maybe in other ways than before.
“To me, the minimalist expression of Nordic design is not just the way it looks, but rather about how you involve it in your lifestyle. With that, I hope that my works can be a part of the stillness that so many of us need today.”
As a Finnish artist living in Sweden, do you see a difference in artistic expression and appreciation between the two countries, despite being geographically close?
The artworld is a new place for me, and have yet to acquire enough experience to see an obvious difference in how we look at art between the two countries. Historically there are of course many aspects that have impacted how art is perceived, and I would prudently like to say that the Finns tend to be a bit more modest in their preferences, while in Sweden there is a much more open mind for different styles and variations. Growing up in a small village, surrounded by open fields and dense forests, I have always felt grounded and safe in such environments. Seeing people making use of what nature offers, living a sustainable life and creating much on their own, opened me up to explore my own capabilities. I believe that it has shaped me, and something I want to give to others through my work. To me, the minimalist expression of Nordic design is not just the way it looks, but rather about how you involve it in your lifestyle. With that, I hope that my works can be a part of the stillness that so many of us need today.
What is your main source of inspiration?
Ever since I was little, I’ve been fascinated by textures, surfaces and materials. To this day I still consider employing my hands, rather than my eyes when exploring materials, very important to me. I would not say that there is any specific thing that I look for in search of inspiration, but I find elements in architecture and everyday surroundings inspiring.