Stina Löfgren, identifying the need for illustrators to look beyond methods commonly used to depict emotion, has created Body and Image, a highly refined piece of observation full of subtle quirks. Keen to understand more, we asked Stina a few questions.
Who was Body and Image produced for and why?
Body and Image was made this spring together with some sculptures, as a way to examine the body and how it’s used to show expressions. As an illustrator, you get very used to depicting figures in easily indicated ways: from the front, pronounced facial expressions, etc. I wanted to work with values not as articulated: slowness, imbalance and plasticity in the animation, and weight/character when sculpting. In illustration, the face is the part of the body that is mostly used for showing expressions, and here I wanted to focus more on rest of the body.
This and Systemolaget are great, and seem to represent some sort of natural progression in your practice from still works to moving image. How keen are you to animate?
Both this animation and Systemolaget were made as a way for me to figure out how to broaden my expression, and animation really surpasses illustration when it comes to nuancing a situation/character, since it’s not just a snapshot in time. Which is also the reason why I’m keen on animating!
Where does your work go from here? Do you plan on studying other things in similar detail, or is the body a big enough subject as it is?
Actually, I try to work away from the body. I feel as if a lot of pictures today are self-aware, as though they knew that they were being looked upon, just like the subject of a photographic portrait is aware that it’s being photographed. It’s hard to work away from this in illustration where it’s more or less a standard thing to be able to come up with punchy characters. I guess I’m trying to see if you can use something other than facial expressions or hefty gestures to show emotions or the sense of a situation, and if possible even to exclude the body. It could probably be pretty easy to show the character of a person just by making that person’s different belongings enact with each other, and exclude the character alltogether. That’s probably where I’m at right now, trying to find a balance between the suble and the distinct.