With an infallible sense of hues and lighting, together with a meticulous craftsmanship, the scenography is made co-star next to the lead, Florentine Stein. There is a touch of melancholy inherent to Florentine, a suite of new works by Helena Blomqvist. The subdued palette that brings late 19:th century Scandinavian painting to mind enhances the sense of melancholy. We are guided by a loosely knitted narrative through the memories and recollections of the former ballerina. The past appears as vivid as the present. How certain can we be that what we are looking at is the actual recollections of Florentine? Would it be truer to describe what is in front of us as the tangled up truth, as it looks through the filters of time and imagination?
The resplendent melancholy visible in the eyes of Florentine turns to deflection in the wider perspective of our contemporary history. The cataclysmic occurrences that are noticed among the headlines in the stacks of yellowed newspapers could be read as references to Blomqvist's earlier body of work. With these shared experiences as backdrop, the personal history of Florentine is set in the foreground. Here we are confronted with more personal, yet common, existential matters, as ageing and loneliness.
Early impulses to the artistry of Blomqvist might be found in resent photography history among names as Christer Strömholm, Richard Avedon and Cindy Sherman. These names were an introduction to photography as an artistic media. It might be said that it is something significant to Blomqvist’s artistry that can be found in the scope, or possibly more correct; in the contrasts represented by Strömholm and Sherman. Where Sherman represents a highly conceptual and staged approach to photography, Strömholm is considered the most prominent figure in a documentary tradition that for many years - not to say decades - held a distinguished position in Swedish photography. A tradition that has fostered names such as Anders Petersen and JH Engström – also a tradition that several photography based artists from Blomqvist’s generation have revolted against in attempts to move away from a strictly documentary stance. In Blomqvist's artistry these opposites entwines. Through allusions to the real world, the documentary is accommodated in fantastical sceneries.
Helena Blomqvist was born in 1975 in Smedjebacken, Dalarna, Sweden. She lives and works in Stockholm, Sweden. Blomqvist graduated from the School of Photography and Film, Göteborg, Sweden. Blomqvists has participated in a large number of solo-exhibitions, including Trelleborgs Museum, Trelleborg, Sweden, 2015; Skelefteå konsthall, Skelefteå, Sweden, 2013; Bror Hjorts Hus, Stockholm, Sweden, 2013; Fotografiska, Stockholm, Sweden, 2012; Sandgrund, Karlstad, Sweden, 2012; Angelika Knäpper Gallery, Stockholm, Sweden, 2011; Fotogalleriet [format], Malmö, Sweden, 2010; Wagner+Partner Gallery, Berlin, Germany, 2008, Kulturhuset, Stockholm, Sweden, 2007.
Works by Helena Blomqvist are included in the collections of Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden; the Hasselblad Foundation, Gothenburg, Sweden and at Borås Konstmuseum, Borås, Sweden.