Art

Pia Ferm presents tufted tapestry and carved stone sculptures in craft-oriented exhibition

Shifting between different materials and techniques, the Swedish artist explains how she must reset her mind in the creative work process.
by FRIDA JOHANSSON
January 22, 2024

Pia Ferm graduated from art academy Staedel Schule in Frankfurt in 2020, where she currently resides and works. Her new exhibition, Plow your fields, keep your enemies close at Saskia Neuman Gallery in Stockholm, presents a suite of new artwork and uses a range of different materials and methods in her artistic practice.

— It’s always about my work, about studio work, about an undercurrent of thoughts regarding value and time. About the strangely elusive concept of currency and attempting to pull it all together conceptually and practically, she explains, continuing,

— I work with sculpture and textiles, making images that oscillate between the two and the three-dimensional. Most of my work consists of different types of woven or tufted tapestries. I also carve stones. The materials and working techniques complement each other well in terms of how the making process looks. When I tuft and weave, I am building my images up together with the empty spaces that contain them. Working with stone, I carve out an image or object from a massive block of raw material. I like the way I must reset my way of thinking when going from one technique to another.

The exhibition encompasses new marble sculptures that act as a mouthpiece for her ideas regarding her pursuits as an artist, as well as the thoughts that arise through her reflections on her practice.

— I’m showing a group of artwork that revolves around their making process and the tools used for it. The work speaks of tedious labour processes in general but also about my studio practice in particular.

When you look at your sector, what changes would you like to see?

— I wish the international art market and community to spin a bit slower. Art is not fast fashion, Ferm states.

Lastly, what’s next for you?

— I am currently pulling a public commission in Frankfurt over the finishing line that has been three years in the making. This process has forced me to pass on the making to other peoples’ hands which is not normally how I work. It has taught me to structure a production differently and taught me a lot about German bureaucracy.

”Art is not fast fashion”

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