artist statement


The paintings convey a perspective that is observational and present, while evoking a sense of being lost in the familiar. Through a heightened state of concentration and attention to detail, the very same perspective can make the viewer loose the sense of what is being looked at.

My artistic project focuses on creating paintings where a renegotiation of the relationship between nature and culture is central. This forms the point of departure for the selection of motifs and sectioning. Through observations of material culture objects or situations in a landscape that seems abandoned by the human, I want to make visible what might otherwise slip by in a haze of the 'ordinary' or 'known'.


I am interested in how cultural objects can appear as remnants of human presence by insisting on details in specific motifs, thereby giving the viewer the opportunity to see something as for the first time. Choices regarding time of day, proximity, location and viewpoint may make the objects speak in a foreign voice. I am interested in how cultural objects can convey the human, in the absence of human beings. 


Sven-Erik Olsen, 2014-11-11