..........................The Glass Wall

The forest, trees, and naked wood are all central objects and subjects in Sara Lidman’s literature. They return again and again, it is impossible to ignore it. At the same time the birch forest has become one of Sweden’s most overused visual clichés, appearing in everything from butter adverts to bank folders and pamphlets. So the challenge became to depict Lidman’s beloved birch forest in a different way.

The main part of Lev! is a 170 meter long glass wall that covers an area of 700 m², making it one of Europe’s largest glass artworks. The wall consists of 186 reinforced double glass panels, all illuminated from within, and where each unit is a unique art piece.

The images were photos of mostly birch trees, taken on a train ride from Missenträsk where Lidman was born, to Umeå, where she spent the last part of her life. They were then processed in a way that they become almost abstract when seen up close, only to become a forest again when seen from a distance. They were printed directly onto the glass using the latest state of the art printing technology, making the high quality images both UV and water resistant.
Other elements were then applied over the trees, like large images of wild flowers collected around Lidman’s house, her beloved clock which was owned by her family for generations, a list of translations of the local “bondska” peasant lingo into Swedish, a poem, and 23 carefully selected quotes from Lidman’s texts.



Position of the Glass Wall in the passage

Click on the flower to see the pictures

The different elements of the installation

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