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NOBA Nordic Baltic contemporary art platform

Louise Villa’s first solo exhibition at Galleri Eklund is called Early Botanists. This exhibition title refers to some of the world’s first female academics, who were botanists. As new plant species were discovered in distant lands during Imperialism, they were eventually brought back to countries such as England to be studied, documented and domesticated. This work was largely done by female botanists and thanks to their effort – these kinds of plants were integrated into the cultural geography of the Western world. In the long run, these women contributed to the development and acceptance of botany as a scientific field.

Villa’s imagery portrays women, but also children, in various natural environments surrounded by budding plants and animals. It is unclear here what time and place is depicted, as well as who these figures are and what exactly they are doing. They may well be performing scientific studies of their natural surroundings, but the closed eyes of several of the women in the exhibition suggest rather that a contemplative moment is being enjoyed in the wild. Regardless, Villa’s women are always one with the environment. The natural ornamentation reappears in their attire or is even superimposed on them. The plant forms are likewise ambiguous and are represented by stylized flowers and leaves, evoking the experience of, or the idea of, wondrous nature rather than specific flower species. It is clear that Villa’s painting is not portraiture, depicting people performing specific activities in a clearly defined time and space – but rather, her works can be seen as symbolic representations of woman’s ancient connection to nature. Mother Earth.

Louise Villa (b. 1974) lives and works in Lund, Sweden. She has studied at HDK-Valand Academy of Art and Design, Gothenburg; Dômen Art School, Gothenburg; Öland’s Art School, Öland. Villa has had numerous solo and group exhibitions in Sweden and abroad. She is represented at Lund municipality; TetraPak, Lund; the city of Gothenburg.

”Early Botanists” (2021) is Louise Villa’s first solo exhibition at Galleri Eklund.

Text by Sandrina Cerda, Galleri Eklund

Gallery name: Galleri Eklund

Address: Karlavägen 15 , Stockholm

Opening hours: Tue-Fri 13:00 - 18:00, Sat 13:00 - 16:00

Open: 11.03.2021 - 08.04.2021