I can see it. I am nine years old. I can remember the clothes I was wearing, I remember my heavy breathing and the anxiety that made my chest hurt. Anxiety that lasted and lasted. Everything is not right but I can’t quite grasp what is wrong.

I had a game where the idea was to draw ugly pictures of people. According to the rules, the drawings had to be made beautiful. I was not allowed to use an eraser. I had to make do with what I had. I enjoyed these moments tremendously. It was about feeling safe and having a sense of control in the middle of chaos. A brief moment of escapism, a feeling that everything is in order.

I later heard that I was one of the lucky; I was naturally capable of relieving my anxiety. It could have been different. I could have become a drug addict, I could have ended up self-harming or having an eating disorder. I did not, however, get away without injuries. I often ask myself if I’m alright. I have a frantic need to check up on myself and I sense an undetermined anxiety. What is out there that is still out of my control? Twenty years later I still look for a place where I can relieve my anxiety, relax my body and to feel safe. To step into a world where I set the rules.  

This has been the starting point of a series of work where I process sorrow, the need to feel safe as well as the subsequent process of becoming whole and independent. The die-cut scrap characters allow me to take on different roles in order to deal with the emotions that are connected to my inner processes; using masks helps me distance myself from the topic. This methods makes it possible to process painful issues in reasonable bits.

The body of work have been photographed in installed spaces, in which I have built mental scenery out of enlarged die-cut scraps and ready-made objects. The impulse to create the installations came when I was studying dioramas. I was attracted to their way of imitating reality and of telling stories by use of visual means. In the series the themes of narration, the experiential side, the magical realism and the relation of emotion to the architectural space are repeated. The roles of the characters evolve during the series as they gradually change from passive beings to active agents that create their own reality.