Inspired by frozen moments, creatures from Nordic folklore and the natural phenomenon known as frost flowers, designer Martin Bergström has created a sculptural collection from recycled textiles. The exhibition Crystallofolia displays nine creations from the collection with the same name, along with photographs by Carl Bengtsson.
In the borderlands of light and darkness
Martin Bergström is a Swedish artist and surface pattern designer, active within the international fashion scene. With his garments and patterns, he tells fanciful and dramatic stories that inhabit the borderlands between darkness and light. The exhibition includes a selection of the creations from the Elle Style Awards, along with hand-made masks and headwear, specially created in Bergström’s Stockholm studio. The collection was made by Ateljé Lisbeth Stålborg, under Bergström’s direction, and photographed by Carl Bengtsson.
Crystallofolia, or frost flowers as they are also known, are like fleeting works of art created by nature. They are formed during the winter season, when the air temperature is close to zero degrees, but the ground has not had time to freeze. The ice formations are created when water expands in the stems of dead plants, and freezes in the cold air.
When the warm rays of the sun reach the ground, the ice melts and the frost flowers disappear. If you try to pick them, they shatter. Only for a brief, frozen moment, you may see these fanciful shapes of nature – if you are lucky. Their transience is part of their beauty, but it might also symbolize the frailty of our glorious nature.
The interaction between light and darkness, good and evil, is mirrored in Nordic folklore and its creatures. These creatures may change their form and temperament, depending on how they are treated. If they are shown mutual respect, they may be most heplful, but when crossed, they may inflict great suffering.
Many people are familiar with fairies, and when there is a mist, we sometimes say that the fairies are dancing. They are often described as beautiful and enchanting, but their appearance might be deceptive; if angered, they might strike you with illness. The "skogsrå", the lady of the forest, may be very helpful to those who live and work in the woods. But if you fail to show her respect, she might distort your sight, rendering you unable to find your way back home.
This borderland is where Martin Bergström finds the inspiration behind his fanciful designs, and where the creations of the Crystallofolia collection come to life.