I am very proud too of the success of Swedish woodworker and friend, Per Brandstedt. Per had a successful exhibition at the Wood Works in 2003, made possible by a grant from the Swedish Government to cover shipping expenses. Those were the days.
Per has been making his way in wood working for more than thirty years, living in a medium sized town, taking on commission work, raising a family, doing exhibition work – a remarkable career really in a very difficult arena.
And recently Per has had an Exhibition that sort of stiches together his career called “Light, Darkness and Memories” that summarizes his years in his chosen profession:
“...In an unstructured way my whole career with wood has dealt with this reflection on achieved results, of my own experience and the experience of my audience. The hundreds of projects, designs, making, production, exhibitions, workshops, cultural exchanges, teaching and learning... in the midst of all this, through three decades, it has been difficult for me to see a clear direction. Many small steps have pointed in very different directions, steps taken in the passion of the moment and or of economic necessity.
In the midst of all the undertakings and entanglements certain themes have recurred and in retrospect I can now see a main theme: A desire to learn more about my material, about shape, surface and what I myself see and what others experience. A summary of my investigations lead to two main topics: the vessel and seating. “
The pieces for this exhibition are shaped from solid blocks of oak from which sculptural pieces evolve and are then scorched and brushed to impart a black, lustrous, and tactile surface.
And following this exhibition Per Brandstedt won a National Swedish award for design with his concept for a grave memorial and seating in solid Swedish Oak, titled “Sitting together”. The concept consists of a number of pieces that either can be used separately or together. The seat is both a memorial or a seat offering space for more than one, though close, and intimate.
David Mac Laren, Artistic Director Bungendore Wood Works Gallery