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Contact Björn Weckström

Email: bjorn.weckstrom@kolumbus.fi

Lapponia Jewellery

View collection available from Lapponia Jewellery

 

CV

STUDIES

The Finnish Goldsmith School, Helsinki 1956
Studies in Europe, the USA, Mexico and Far-East

ACTIVITIES

Own galleries: Helsinki 1958- , Stockholm 1989-1998
Member of the Finnish Sculptor's Association and ORNAMO
Lectures in Europe, the USA and Far-East
Free artist 1956-
Designer for Lapponia Jewelry Oy 1963-

PRIZES

2nd and 3rd prize in a cutlery design contest arranged by Hackman & Sorsakoski 1959
2nd prize in a jewellery design contest arranged by the Finnish Goldsmiths' Association 1962
Purchase in the Norstaal contest, Oslo 1964
Grand Prix in the International Jewelry Contest in Rio de Janeiro 1965
Lunning Prize 1968
Illum Prize 1972
Glorian Muotoilu Prize 2003
Kaj Franck Design Prize 2013
Espoo City: Culture Award 2015

HONOURS

Medal for merit no. 22 of the Finnish Goldsmiths' Association 1967
Pro Finlandia medal 1971
Professor's title 1986
Espoo City Medal 2016

PURCHASES BY MUSEUMS

Victoria and Albert Museum, Goldsmiths' Hall, London 1961 (ring The "Fairy Castle")
Röhsska Konstslöjdsmuseet, Gothenburg 1967 (ring "Nike")
The Royal Scottish Museum, Edinburgh 1980 (pendant "Kilimandjaro", ring "Erosion", bracelet "Zelda")
Vestlandske Kunstindustrimuseum, Bergen 1982 (glass sculptures)
Museum of Applied Arts, Helsinki 1982 (chair "Bucta)
Finnish Glass Museum, Riihimäki 1983 (glass sculptures)
Museum of Applied Arts, Helsinki 1984 (silver jewellery)
The Pforzheim Jewellery Museum, 1996 (brooch "Tourmaline Butterfly")
The Museum of Modern Art Boston, 2008 (pendant "Janus Jewelry")

PUBLIC COMMISSIONS

Wallrelief for Rettig Strengberg, Turku 1986
Fazer Headquarters, Vantaa: sculpture "Domina" 1989
Monument in honour of Fazer's 100th Anniversary, Helsinki: "Fazer's rooster", 1991
YLE Headquarters, Helsinki 1993: sculpture "Narcissos", 1993
"The whistling resident of Helsinki"-sculpture, Helsinki 1995

JURY MEMBERSHIPS IN

Dunhill-Prize, Helsinki 1983
various international International Platinum Jewelry Award, London 1985
design contests International Jewelry Contest, Munich 1986
International Contest for Platinum jewellery, Frankfurt 1987
International contest for jewellery and miniature sculptures, Idar-Oberstein 1989
International jewelry design competition by Lapponia Jewelry 1995
International jewelry design competition by Lapponia Jewelry 2009

LECTURES

Los Angeles 1978
Tokyo 1979
Pisa 1979
New York 1983
Vienna 1986
Munich 1988
Frankfurt 1990
Oslo 1991
Stuttgart 1991
Basle 1995
Stockholm 1995


EXHIBITIONS

1960's
Galerie Gatto, Copenhagen 1963
Galerie Pinx, Helsinki 1965
Röhsska Konstslöjdsmuseet, Gothenburg 1967
Galerie Clerc, Pariisi 1968
Bank Gallery, Copenhagen 1968
Galerie Claucus, Stockholm 1969
Finland House, London 1969

1970's
Amos Anderson Art Museum, Helsinki 1973
Rosenthal Studio-House, New York 1974
David Jones Gallery, Sydney 1974
H. Stern, New York 1976
Illum, Copenhagen 1977
Artium, Gothenburg 1977
Galerie d'Art, Quebec 1977
Galerie de Greef, Brussels 1977
Wäinö Aaltonen Art Museum, Turku 1978
Aaron Faber Gallery, New York 1978
Mikimoto Gallery, Tokyo 1978
Maxim's, Paris 1978
Gallery of Sculpture, Palm Beach 1978
KSLN Galerie Zeit & Wert, Hamburg 1979
Broadwalk Gallery, Houston 1979
I Magnin, San Francisco, Palo Alto and Beverly Hills 1979

1980's
Galleria Sculptor, Helsinki 1980
Nuutajärvi Glass museum, Nuutajärvi 1980
Vestlandske Kunstindustrimuseet, Bergen 1982
Kunstindustrimuseet, Oslo 1982
San Zeno Cathedral, Pisa 1982
Stadtmuseum, Düsseldorf 1982
Künstlerhaus, Vienna 1984
Stadthaus, Bonn 1984
Kunsthalle, Cologne 1984
Stadtpark, Dortmund 1985
Retretti, Punkaharju 1986
Goldsmith's Hall, London 1986
National Museum, Utrecht 1987
Galerie Björn Weckström, Helsinki 1988
Galerie Schindler, Zermatt 1988
Tammisaari Museum, Tammisaari 1989

1990's
Charlottenborg, Copenhagen 1990
Museum of Applied Arts, Helsinki 1990
Millesgården, Stockholm 1991
The Cathedral Crypt, Helsinki 1995
Falkenhof Museum, Rheine 1998
San Agostino sculpture museum, Pietrasanta 1999

2000
Finnish National Opera, Helsinki 2000
Designmuseum, Helsinki 2003
The Finnish Glas Museum, Riihimäki 2003
Gallery Uusitalo 2004
Mustio Castle, Mustio 2005
Design Exchange, Toronto 2005
        
        

The man and his myths

The artistic walk of life of sculptor Bjorn Weckstrom is characterised by very impressive series of work, shaped in materials such as bronze, marble, glass and acrylic resin, as well as in often surprising combinations of the above. His distinctive language of expression ranges from abstract form to an individualistic interpretation of realism. Central to the bronze sculptures has been the reinterpretation of classic Greek mythology.

Furthermore, the large sculptures, exploring the interaction between man and machine, outline a profound analysis of the current state of Mankind. The invitation to become a lecturer at the University of Pisa in 1979, led to an important change in his life: thereafter Mr. Weckstrom has spent the majority of his time in Italy. The differences between Italy in terms of the cultural milieu and natural environment, resonate as enriching and fertilising elements in many of his sculptures. 

There is a soul in the substance

The most distinct period of material bound design in Bjorn Weckstrom's production,are the series of 25 sculptures in acrylic resin, created in 1971-1973. They are inspired by a protest against the kinetic, "noisy" art of the time. Artists like Tinguely, Kovac etc., were going as far as creating sculptures able to self-destruct, highlighting the need to create something immobile, unconditional and lasting.

The self-lit sculptures in acrylic resin demand twilight and peace, solitude. The colour and light silence to meditation. The floating translucent insubstantiality insinuate a silent sacral meditation. A passing interest by the artist in Zen-Buddhism, is conveyed in the introvert, inward nature of the sculptures, revealing uncharted territories within the mind.

Key work in the series are "Trinity", "Empirism", "Portrait of a Leader", and "Expanding Cube", whose colour mystique and feeling of being under water induce a strange resonance. In these sculptures, the silvered pieces of bronze appear to "swim" in the light space within the cubes of acrylic resin. "Molokbird" (1975) and "Overhanging Problem" (1979) have their internal elements made solely of bronze. The use of acrylic resin can also be seen as the answer to the challenge of technology and modernism, by the young artist. Apart from information technology, especially the technology of plastics production is undergoing a rapid stage of development; over 60.000 different types of plastics have already been produced! This is paving the way for new possibilities, and is already strongly influencing our day-to-day lives.

An artist is also intrigued to be a pioneer. Unless development is accompanied by ethical responsibilities, as well as a vision of a humane future, we are facing the threat of unleashing uncontrollable trends and catastrophes - they too have to be seen and shown in time.

The sensitive timelessness of marble

Marble has fascinated Bjorn Weckstrom already due to the weight of its historic traditions. Furthermore, living in Italy has naturally brought the material closer. Mr. Weckstrom describes marble as a sympathetic material, which is easy to shape and control. It is pure and yielding, alluring -almost therapeutic - to work. The sensitivity requires unabated and sharp attention.

The stone is characterised by closed, almost massive shapes, that maintain the inner charge and resonance of the material. "The difference between rightly and wrongly treated stone is like the difference between a dead and a live animal.

A good sculpture is like a sleeping moose - a bad one is like a slaughtered animal", Mr. Weckstrom has argued.

It is natural to let the material work according to conditions of its own. The grey marble, frequently used by Mr. Weckstrom, contains a multitude of non-homogenous areas of different shades, stripes etc., ranging from white shades to very dark. The workability of the material leads into the realms of abstraction, that occasionally - often surprisingly - reminds the artist of stones and cliffs in the Finnish archipelago, ground down by water and ice.

Like many Finnish artists, Mr. Weckstrom has experienced the presence of Nordic nature very strongly, hence finding its influence penetrating his artistic expression even in Italy. The nature of marble has also been luring the artist to explore a stylistic and generous form of expression, as classic simplification.

Mr. Weckstrom has been particularly interested in the human figure - especially in the forms of head and face. One could presume that the "quickly" shaped sculptures in marble, have also worked as a relaxing counterbalance to the large bronze sculptures, that demand extensive time and thinking before completion.

Classic beauty appeals in such works as "Sleeping", "Dualism", and "Arm". Their inward nature is charged with intimacy. The proud, taciturn stone radiates enigmatic eternalness - the far superior life expectancy of the material, in comparison to Man, is a humbling reminder of one's mortality. 

The seductive calligraphy of glass

The radiant glass art by Bjorn Weckstrom is like a seduction in to the realm of beauty. The artist has described the material as enticing, yet difficult. There is no bargaining for the conditions of glass. Molten glass has to be worked instantly, knowing its limits and possibilities - "write" intuitively!

Natural forms emerging, such as "horns" and "teeth" among others, are shapes Mr. Weckstrom has used and altered in much of his work. The "teeth" may weight as much as ten kilograms, approaching the limits of what can be achieved with this technology.

Larger works - such as "Totem" and the "Gate" - have been created by assembling them from smaller parts. The importance of the moment does by no means eliminate the inclusion of different levels of meaning.

Large horns, teeth, jaws, poles and gates and also charged with archaic images of the human subconscious. They can be analysed according to both Freudian interpretations, as well as the principles of aesthetics. The "half substance" of the glass is particularly interesting to Mr. Weckstrom - one can make glass translucent or opaque. He often uses a core, or heart,made out of coloured glass, which is embedded into transparent glass. The transparency creates a fascinating bridge between the core and the surrounding space - in a similar way as in the works of acrylic resin in the 70's. The floating feeling of being underwater insinuates the womb, as well as outer space. The sculptures do not only express a visual language their sensuality attracts to intimacy, to touch. The intuitive feel of materials and forms is like understanding by using the hands - getting a grip of the world.

The Big Tales of the Bronze

Bronze, according to the artist, is quite labour intensive, yet submissive as a material, allowing for endless diversity and richness in the surface and form, as well as for sizes ranging from miniatures to monuments.

The epic nature is pertaining to bronze. Numerous form of expression and effects are possible, along with surface structures ranging from roughness to mirror-like smoothness, from intricate shapes to simplicity, from dark to light. The initial works alternate between softness and strong dynamism. The strength of the works lie in the charged inner nature of the sculptures, rather than in being aggressive and confrontational.

The lengthy process of creation forces a concentrated clear thinking in the language of forms. The substantial presence of bronze, strongly breathing its own mystique, characterise Björn Weckstrom's sculptures, regardless of size, spirit or tone. "Goddess of Forest" have a very simplified shape, are essentially primitive, yet they almost secrete "bronzeness".

In many of the early 70's works, the figurative nature of the sculptures seem to dissolve in rhythmical abstract elements, as in the case of the "Talkative woman" (1972), "Child", "Head of a Dolphine", "Animal's Head " and "Torso" (1973), "Future Man", "Female Torso" and "Sleeping Technocrate" (1974) as well as "Screaming head ", "Embryo" and "Monk's Head" (1975).

Towards the end of the decade, the bronze sculptures are increasingly characterised by contrasts between curved and angular shapes, as well as a new kind of charge in terms of the theme. Already the "Quiet American" (1973), with its stylised, yet abnormally tight, cross mouth oozes a power of suggestion typical for surrealism, yet the changing language of form only becomes visible in later works, such as the dualistic "Silenced" (1975), where the figure, simplified to a cylinder, seems like it has fallen into the uncompromising jaws of a giant fish.

The "Warrior" and "Head of a Woman" share an appealing humanity, as well as the power of the geometric shape, along with the masculine "Lieutenant" and the feminine "Arc". This particular stylistic period in Bjorn Weckstrom's work, with its roots in figurative, yet strongly abstract geometric shapes, produced two later bronze monuments, both of whom can be found in the centre of Helsinki, the "Whistler" and the "Fazerin Kukko" (Fazer's Rooster). The partly abstract organic language of form, implemented in patinated bronze, resonate well with the Empiresque architecture of the City centre.

The "Triumph Arch Under Construction" is an interesting piece of free work, which plays on the paradoxes of size; the arc is formed by a human, feminine knee, rising from the depths of the Earth to unknown heights. The impression is highlighted by a surrounding by a scaffolding-like construction. Even the surface holds a paradox: the smooth skin invites to touch and caress, yet the cold metal also frightens and expels. Even the scaffolding conveys a double message: the image of the clumsy nature of human endeavours also expresses hope and the uplifting power of co-operation.

The "Biomechanical hand", monumentally reaching straight up, is a prelude to Mr. Weckstrom's "reflective realism", his profound analysis of our time. The hand-the image of understanding - is developing into a machine. The viewer is struck by a painful question: what is happening, what's going on? How does our take on the world change? The (literally!) gripping display of the estrangement of modern Man from nature can be seen by machines replacing our limbs and what will follow? We are getting replacements for our limbs, extensions and sturdy prostheses, but what are we losing?

Will our grip of the world hold, will the sensitive contact with nature last, is the completeness of our self in danger to disintegrate? It feels like our throats are holding down the silent scream for our threatened identities.

Modern Times in the Mirror of Myths

Bronze is by far the most superior material for the both size- and expression-wise monumental sculptures by Mr. Weckstrom, created in the 1980's and 1990's. They reflect the problems and crises of modern technology and societal processes in the light of ancient myths - and not only reflect -they interpret our times profoundly, accurately, hurtfully. And that is not all: we have at our fingertips the realm of unknown possibilities. The degenerated palms of the "Minotaur" have been replaced by the extensions of some strange metallic machinery. Has the ancient myth of the monster, combining features of man and bull, transformed into a man-machine monster? In the open stomach one can see mechanical intestines. Even the penis is a mechanical performer, a wrench. The sculpture opens perspectives into the worlds of biotechnology and gene manipulation; the stiff posture of the robot and his hollow features scare, but there is also a ray of hope -even if the machine works badly, it can be improved...

The exhausting ethical wrestle of creating is best described in Mr. Weckstrom's tale of the birth of the "Minotaur": after intensively working for five months, one night he had to conclude that the model made out of plaster simply did not work - it wasn't stiff in the desired way, but too "natural" - which left no other options than breaking it to pieces with an axe, and starting all over again'

The Goddess of victory, "Nike", is impressive in its bronze, despite the degenerated arms that was withered away all the way up to the shoulders. The pubic hair consists of dwarf-like stick men. Einstein's theory of relativity has been etched into the badly burnt face: energy equals the mass times the speed of light to the power of two (e=mc2). A reminder of the fact that in a nuclear war there are no victories or winners - no arms nor understanding. The mythical "Narcissus" does no longer admire his reflection in a well, but in a television. Nor is he beginning to transform into a flower, but into a machine.

The bronze "Prometheus", created in the mid-eighties, is hanging from hooks between heaven and Earth, without hands or feet, like at the butcher's, his stomach ripped open as told by the ancient mythology (an eagle ripped Prometheus' liver off him again and again as a punishment for him stealing the fire from the Gods). Perhaps the modern vultures are alcohol, medicines, drugs and other chemical bombardment we inflict upon ourselves. In the sculpture we have openly in front of us the modern angst and institutional as well as individual violence. Yet surprisingly, out of the stomach grows the promise of a tree, like the dawn of tomorrow, a sign of immortal hope and continuity of life.

The environment and overpopulation - really have apparent solutions in any other. In the sculpture "Centaur", the ancient Greek myth about the horse with a human head, id reflected directly in the modern speeding human machine; the motorcyclist. One can sense the skilled symbiosis between man and motorcycle, the euphoria of control, but also the presence of danger- the willingness to surrender to be driven by the machine, regardless of the risks. The mass of the machine, its power and speed are superior compared to human physique. A personal experience of a motorcycle accident hovers in the background as well... Mr. Weckstrom warns against making too narrow interpretations. He wants by no means to discredit technology as bad, as he finds the emerging interaction between people and machines extremely fascinating. He feels he is profoundly part of this for Mankind new situation, trying to perceive the extent of the fundamental change taking place. Machinery has influenced people's lives since the invention of the watch. Man is slowly adapting characteristics from the machinery he has created. The relationship of interaction between man and machine is very young. If the modern human being, Homo Sapiens, has been in existence for the past 1500 generations, then only 5 generations has been in interaction with machines.

Mr. Weckstrom sees this symbiosis in principle as positive. Its importance is increasing - in the near future an entirely mechanical heart is more reliable than one transplanted from another human being. Neither of the great problems of our time - the degeneration of fielks of science apart from the ever developing technology. The current rate of change and development is so dramatically rapid and total, that predicting the future is becoming more difficult, almost impossible.

Thirty or forty years back there was still time to reflect about things, and make decisions in time - nowadays there is minimal time left for gathering and producing the necessary information needed to make decisions. In a way we are falling into the future.

From the Riace Bronzes to Reflective Realism The receiving of an artistic message - the reception - may also be a very deeply creative incident. In Bjorn Weckstrom's case, this is proved by his description of an experience concerning the so-called bronzes of Riace. These ancient Greek bronze sculptures had been found in an old shipwreck, off the coast of Sicily. The sculptures had undergone restoration and were placed for display in Florence, where Mr. Weckstrom came across them. The sculpture duo portrays two warriors; actually they are the one and same Olympic winner, in one he is a youth in his twenties, and in the other he is in his forties, growing old! In his superior arrogant strength he is challenging his own elderly, more experienced, yet introvert self. The elderly man is heavier, been through the school of life, yet one more time concentrated on correcting the bouncy youth.

This situation, charged to its extremes, opened up to Mr. Weckstrom like a vision of ancient times. The realism of the psychological accuracy and insight was overwhelming, and the surprising dimension of expression was essentially bridging time, human life span and social field - extraordinary! The message was communicated from one artist to the other bridging millennia. It reaffirmed faith in art - and in the possibilities of realism! It is not important to strive for modernism in one's own time, but create visions and messages, that carry a charged energy and meaning beyond generations, and through time to unknown futures.

The profound experience of the bronze sculptures of Riace, led Bjorn Weckstrom to think that his own work may still be around in 500 or 1000 years from now. In the same way, one has to think that they may also work in other times and societies apart from the present one - a perspective that places the artist's responsibility and objectives into an entirely new context perceived only by few.

The classic myths live on, because their themes still clearly reflect - sometimes even the carnal sides - of the inner nature of Man. Art and myths are doing the same thing: searching and displaying the constant amongst the variables - the characteristics and essence of Man. At the turn of the Millennium, Mankind is in the realm of dramatic and rapid changes, in the suction of irreversible processes, whose understanding and definition do not yet feel possible.

The myths are still true, but they do not tell everything. An artist cannot only settle for them, he also has to find a figure for that, which is only insinuating its arrival.

"Icarus" is a striking image of the human fatalistic desire to fly, despite knowing one will fall. The handsome bronze Icarus simultaneously exhibits the leanness of a beast, the joy of a child, and the sensitivity of a butterfly - a touching faith in the only half -finished wings, on which he will depend his life on, without a second thought. Icarus is the Faustian world personified, in his blind faith in progress, materialism, industrialism, economic growth and imperialism.

Icarus is also an eternal image of the creative soul, daring into the unknown and claims the future. It is hardly a coincidence that Mr. Weckstrom's Icarus is in the same position as someone crucified. Crucified to his half-finished wings, Icarus flies towards the sky and to his death. He fulfils his destiny, giving us the hope.

The hooded Icarus was created at the time of Mr. Weckstrom moving to Italy - as an interesting parallel theme one could outline the state of the artist's own life at the time - the courage to fly into the unknown.

"Uomo Diviso", the divided man, is looking at a glass flower: deeply stressed by having to make a difficult basic choice - to follow the path of economic growth, or the environment. Giving up is difficult, but it must be learned - nature has to be given its space and power.

"Uomo Confuso", is the profoundly confused and insecure modern Man, feeling a strange, bad conscience about his consumer rituals, and has become "neo-careful" in every way' The passive normative existence is a false comfort'.

The idea for the "Stereophonic Dream" came in New York in the mid-eighties. The sleeping-tapes were a concrete evidence to Mr. Weckstrom of how we are moving into artificial worlds.

By cutting the contacts to the real world, one starts to live according to synthetic impulses. As a method of falling asleep, the tapes may be a better solution than pills, but one can also distinguish a trend of increasingly withdrawing into floating inside virtual realities - unaware of becoming a pawn in ready-made and concealed games.

The Extreme Tensions Between Materials

Traditional methods are no longer sufficient to describe the new human situation. Common to many of Bjorn Weckstrom's recent works are the surprising combination of materials far from each other. This is in itself to be seen as an image of our time: one is forced to compile a creative synthesis of all the shattered pieces of a disintegrating world. The challenge is overwhelming: only the creative act can bridge the split rifts, and continue the ambitious flight of the spirit.

The bronze "Equilibrist" on his circus unicycle, is androgynous and empty. There is plenty of balancing between family, work, relationships, hobbies as well as personal needs and external limitations.

In the "Homo Ludens" sculpture, the little bronze girl playing with a glass ball, the movement is in control, and the sculpture radiates the joy of playing.

The "Free fall", with its amputated arms, however, is in a helpless state in space, in an unstoppable movement one cannot influence. Only a bottomless fall into the unknown awaits.

In the "Thinker", bronze, glass and plastic meet to combine a special - possibly irritating - resonance. The reference to Rodin's work is clear, but Mr. Weckstrom's thinker resembles a youth of our time, lonely, introvert, someone experiencing an information revolution. The formation of the identity seems incomplete.The contact to others is established through outer signals, according to hairstyles etc., - the gangs function ruthlessly and sternly. The aggressiveness, and lacking sublimity of present young generations, that have never experienced war, fascinate Mr. Weckstrom. The untapped energies are directed towards oneself: piercings, rings and tattooing are practiced. Somehow it also contains a new kind of narcissism.

The "Blind Runner" was created at the time of the Gulf War. While different sources where often feeding very different kinds of information about the same events, the artist withdrew into deep reflection on the level of which we depend on news broadcasters. To find the pearls in the ever increasing flow of information has become nearly impossible.

As the sculpture by Mr. Weckstrom, we run blindfolded on our running mat, without seeing the reality. We think we are making progress, when in reality we are standing still in the same spot. The information revolution also works in the opposite direction: a blindfolded runner cannot redirect his messages towards the outer world.

Artists often seem to be very good at understanding their own work, but unable to appreciate works by others. When interaction is prevented, artistic communication and expression is impoverished. In a chaotic situation, the translators are becoming more important that the one to be interpreted. Curators, critics and gallery owners are superseding the artists in their notability. Even the audience is increasingly moving around in groups - waiting for, and demanding, guidance. The rules of the game are decided by others than the artists, and it is up to the artist to run, or refrain from running, the part assigned to his blindfolded self.

While making the "God of the Birds", Bjorn Weckstrom had been reflecting on ancient sculptors in Egypt, for instance. These were the fortunate ones, assigned to create images of the Gods. Mr. Weckstrom's reflective realism became the basis for a figurative sculpture - as opposed to the earlier abstract versions. A God of the Birds would probably look like a bird, in the same way as people have given their Gods human resemblance. A deep basic theme resonates throughout: the stretching of one's own limits towards the divine.As part of many of Bjorn Weckstrom's works is a kind of framework, or plinth, which is without exception also expression-wise significant. It seems to represent social structures, external pressures and limits, casts of identities, as well as psychic etc. internal limits. By making the frameworks visible, Mr. Weckstrom also highlights the need for, and the possibility to detach oneself, to let go.

One of Mr. Weckstrom's most recent works - completed in the summer of 1998 - is the "Flying Icarus". It has detached itself from the frameworks and plinths, hanging in free space. The basic myth about Icarus continues to fascinate Mr. Weckstrom: The greatness of Man in Icarus, the need to rise above oneself, like a God. This relentless attempt to break one's chains, and try one's wings is deeply embedded in human nature - only the impossible is the measure of Man! The opening up of new opportunities creates a great energy, and is something that makes the artist very proud to be a human being.

Mr. Weckstrom described the birth of his sculptures as quite spontaneous, dreamlike. During the process, the works may grow out of their original idea, and may through stages of organic development become something entirely different. Even after completion - particularly immediately afterwards - one is not always in a state to explain why a piece of work turned out in the way it did. The verbal analyses seem very difficult and useless after the very exciting period of creation. The analytic self may rear itself only after months - sometimes years - have gone by. Mr. Weckstrom says he has tried to map out the overall process of creation throughout his life - so far unsuccessfully!

The Divided Man Looks into the Flower of Glass

One of the most pressing problems of modern man is his own identity. Old static perceptions and interpretations of individuals and the world no longer apply to the rapidly changing physical and mental reality. Also the image of the self has to change -can this any longer happen in a controlled fashion?

This is also a situation portrayed by Mr. Weckstrom: a divided man looks into the flower of glass. The relationship to nature is becoming very multifaceted. Technology pollutes, artificial realities push their way in to substitute the original relationship to nature. Genetic DNA-codes are already being mastered, the tricks to cease power over evolution are within reach of humanity.

Bjorn Weckstrom's sculpture "Free fall" shows a person falling into unlimited cosmic space, there is no ground nor horizon. The first space travellers of our time were floating around in weightlessness, like embryos inside the womb, before birth. The visual similarity may have a symbolic dimension: mankind is about to be born into something, which still has no form or name. Already in Mr. Weckstrom's sculptures in acrylic resin, there is a floating spirit of new worlds.

Man implements his dreams. The artist is responsible for his visions, for seeing the truth, the image of Man. The message of art has often a secret dimension into the subconscious and into the future. Icarus must fly - always! The artist is now, more than ever, requested to have greater courage and faith in Man. To this challenge Bjorn Weckstrom answers through a unique force: His works speak of a mystical union of beauty and truth: the enigma.

Ilkka Juhani Takalo-Eskola