Since the first time I saw Maria Saveland’s oil painting “Borders” I have not been able to get it out of my mind. The afternoon I entered Maria’s studio my gaze was directly drawn to a painting that was not yet complete. A painting of which Maria herself did not quite understand is now blatantly obvious.
Maria studied at Konstfack / University College of Arts, Crafts and Design 1991-1997, The College of Printmaking Arts and the Royal Institute of Art, all in Stockholm. Being preoccupied with what happens in the meeting between people is also the reason she is interested in pedagogy. She has taught at Kulturhuset, Liljevalchs, Kulturskolan, Konstforum i Norrköpings and for the past five years is the headmaster at Basis School of Art offering foundation and advanced studies in fine art and interior design.
– It is inspiring to help young people grow and develop to their full potential.
“The Warrior” had an unexpected audience when some electricians were working in Maria’s studio.
– When I returned after an errand they had brought their colleagues to see the painting! That type of unexpected communication is amazing and gives a deeper meaning in what I am doing.
Maria works with different media based on what she wants to express. From the original thought or emotion to the final result can be a very long journey. Processes have their own pace.
“The Beast” is her own personal favorite. It is a portrait of a cabinet.
– I had a wooden cabinet in my room and every morning I awoke, I saw these wood grains shaped like a beast and I just had to paint it.
The images usually just appear in my head – it can of course be inspired by something I have seen. It is a constant search to find the right direction, a shadowy impulse comes to me, something very determined but which can still change a lot during the creative process.
I point to the formation of a hand in sculptur wax with rose thorns and I ask if they are real.
– Yes, those are rose thorns, and the piece was first called “The Hand of the Princess.” Something about giving and receiving, but it is impossible to receive or to give when the hand is so full of thorns. It symbolises a kind of isolation, loneliness, sublimity and humanity – the allusion of being in a position to determine the fate of things that you really can not control. The piece is now renamed “The Beggar” and is about the relationship that arises when meeting a beggar. I can be so satisfied when I give a small token, but at the same time I am deeply disturbed by feeling good about that very gesture. It also portrays the beggar’s point of view – one of inferiority and contempt – for he must somehow create a distance between himself and the person he is begging from. A meeting between two people, meeting or not meeting – is very much the essence of my art.
Pauli Olavi Kuivanens review from Maria Savelands exhibition at Konstforum