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Shapes of Harvest (2023)

Original publication here:

Text by Lene Bilgrav

Galleri Lene Bilgrav is proud to be able to present the first solo exhibition in the gallery with the Danish visual artist Birgitte Støvring. The exhibition is called “Shapes of Harvest”, and here Birgitte Støvring shows a number of completely new paintings, which are, among other things, about the female figure, nature and fertility, but also about vulnerability and responsibility for future generations. The opening takes place Friday 21 April from 5 to 7pm. The artist will be present and everyone is welcome.

In “Shapes of Harvest”, Birgitte Støvring revolves around the harvest as a symbol of fertility and giving and receiving. But the exhibition is also about standing on the shoulders of the past, taking care of what we have and passing on something useful to the next generations. The female figure is central to the works, but the fruits, plants, animals, and vases that surround her are central too. They seem to appear as something fragile and almost sacred in the works. Each work has its own individual narrative, which can originate from a historical perspective, a pictorial understanding, a collective foundation, the power of symbolism or based on nature.

As often before, Birgitte Støvring finds inspiration in mythology and antiquity, and here it is especially the ancient Caryatids and the story of the Greek goddess Demeter that have inspired her. Caryatids are columns designed as female figures, and their function is load-bearing and not just decorative. The Greek goddess Demeter was the goddess of grain and protector of the earth, and her daughter Persephone was the goddess of spring growth and plants. Birgitte Støvring transforms the ancient figures into modern women, and she focuses on the story between these women and the surrounding symbols and not on the women’s age, mood or affiliation. They are individual women, but at the same time they are all women who also carry a responsibility on their shoulders.

Birgitte Støvring’s colour-saturated paintings are somewhere between figuration and abstraction. The figurative elements are in focus, but in addition, Birgitte Støvring also has a focus on surfaces and patterns, which do not necessarily exist in reality. The figures are at the very front of the surface, and there are hints of ground, but not an actual space in the works. The colorful patterns and the division of the background into fields have always played a role for Birgitte Støvring, and they show that she is just as concerned with the formal as the narrative.

Birgitte Støvring (b. 1982) graduated from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in 2008. She has made several decorations around the country, including for the women’s section in Horserød State Prison and most recently for the Court in Svendborg. She has exhibited in Denmark and abroad, including at the Alanna Miller Gallery in New York, where she is represented. Here at home, she has, among other things, exhibited at the Museum of Religious Art in Lemvig (group exhibition), where she is represented in the collection, and at Himmerland’s Art Museum together with Camilla Thorup. She lives and works in Egtved (DK).

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