Boel Olsson

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Pa flykt fran bonden


Artist Statement:

I am an artist/designer/photographer and my work deals with fashion, appearance, the fake and the real, humour and the layers of meaning that accumulates through the various stages of the creative and commercial processes.
I work with a combination of design and photography where I design and make fake “fashion photography” from un-wearable clothes, rags and scraps, second-hand or found objects and clothes, and garments and accessories that I have designed and made myself. I always work with a particular setting or environment and a particular model in mind so that the outfits, the personality of the model and the surroundings contributes to the overall effect I want to achieve.
Trained as a fashion designer in Sweden and also running my own design studio there, I came to question the creative limitations and restrictions in the fashion business but also in the art world. After moving to the UK in 1999 I started to using my designs as a base for one off artworks rather than selling them directly to the public.


2002-2003 M A in Art Historical Research Methods, Uppsala University, Sweden. My dissertation was based on research carried out when working in the Laura Ashley design archives and deals with the Laura Ashley launch of the textile designs of the Bloomsbury Group in the mid 1980’s. This course was a distance-learning program and was entirely Internet based.

1992-1999 B A degree in Aesthetics and History of Art, (passed with distinction), Uppsala University, Sweden. The modules on this course were taken part time and as distance studies and included a research module that would qualify the student for entering a PhD program in Aesthetics.

1987-1990 A three-year Diploma in Design, the Swedish equivalent of a BA degree in Design for Fashion, Textiles and Interiors. Beckmans School of Design, Stockholm. This course focused on the creative (as opposed to the technical or academic) aspects of designing for the Fashion, Textiles and Interior Design Industries.

1985 Three month course in advanced pattern cutting and grading, Central School of Fashion, London

1984-1985 One year training course in Professional Sewing and Pattern Construction for the garment
Industry. St Görans Gymnasium, Stockholm.

1983-1984 One year Art Foundation Course, Konstskolan, Stockholm.

Some freelance projects and exhibitions:

October 2003 “The glow project”, Brighton. Will be showing close-up images of faces projected on to walls in a street in Brighton together with other artists.

Sept. 2003 “The Burn Project”. A project where “fashion” and “fashion photographs” were created by the burning of garments.

Aug 2003 “DO-DON’T/ CAN-CAN’T”, an exhibition of photographs curated by Carinna Parraman of the Centre for Fine Print Research in Bristol. The images were shown at the conference IMPACT 3 in South Africa, (University of Cape Town), 27th –30th August 2003.

Aug 2003 “Gladrags” an exhibition at the Stroud House Gallery in Stroud featuring artists working with textiles and fashion in various ways. Images from recent photographic projects shown

May 2003 “The deconstruction project”. Fashion and images created by deconstructing, destroying and trashing second hand garments instead of creating new garments. Photographed in a deserted docklands area in Sweden.

March 2003 “The reconstruction project” a project involving making outfits from “useless” rags and scraps. Photographed in a Swedish forest in March 2003.

Feb 2003 “The Porn Doll Project”. Project involving the making of 12 hand stitched dolls, to be photographed in various settings around the UK. Made for a group exhibition in London in 2004.

Feb 2003 Exhibited digitally manipulated images used as screensavers in a project at the Islington Museum, London.

Dec 2002 The A6 show, the Lewisham Arthouse Gallery, London. Photos of knitted fantasy outfits transferred onto fabric shown.
Nov. 2001- Working in the Laura Ashley Design and Heritage Archives. Researching and photographing
Aug. 2002 antique textiles and garments from the company’s Heritage and Vintage Collections

1999-2000 Setting up “The X Gallery” in London, a gallery and Internet shop promoting Scandinavian art and design. After a 6-month start up period it was decided that the project would not be economically viable, and the gallery subsequently closed down.

1991-1999 Working as a fashion and textile designer in Sweden. Specialising in made to measure ladies wear and hand painted silk garments but I also did some interior design work. In 1997 I was working with a project designing a textile material from raw wool that previously had been discarded. I was working together with Ullcentrum, Borgholm on this project. Between 1995 and 1997 I had a small shop and studio where I was selling my own designs and taking orders for commissions. After 1997 my designs were sold through Lena Form, Kalmar and by Kollektion, a mail order catalogue for craft and design.

1990 Worked as a freelance design assistant in London for six months, for Science Menswear and Marithe & Francois Girbaud

1990 Exhibition and fashion show at “Kulturhuset”, the national cultural centre in Stockholm. This was part of the graduation show at Beckmans College of Design.

1990 Swedish winner of the “Fashion Future Awards” at the Igedo fashion fair in Düsseldorf.

1988 Working with The Epstein & Barr project in Stockholm, a 6-month project that involved interior design of a loft space and clothes for bar staff and musicians.

1985 Exhibiting clothes and fashion sketches at Galleri Crouquis, Stockholm.

1984 Exhibiting clothes and illustrations at Galleri Stazz, Stockholm.


Boel Olsson

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