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ARTIST: Ulla Viotti (1998)


Energy-Magic is a mysterious work of art. It has been shaped as a tower without a roof and it tapers off the taller it becomes. The whole construction is made of bricks in a pattern. There is a slim and tall opening so that you can peek into the tower. But do not try to enter, as the slit also tapers off, which makes it very difficult to come out again.

Ullla Viotti is the artist behind Energy-Magic. She is one of the foremost artists using soil, brick and peat. This particular art work was built with bricks from the Hallsberg brickyard, bricks made of clay from Kumla. The visitor might be led to believe that the “tower” is an industrial museum, a relic from the shale oil period or that it has a modern function.

Just like the cinders of the mount have turned red by being heated up to hundreds of degrees, so have the bricks been heated and have changed their color to red. Perhaps the material has been chosen for aesthetic reasons – it fits in here. Or perhaps it is supposed to give the impression that the tower has risen on its own out of the mount.

Bricks as building material have been used as long as man has been domiciled. From the beginning it was sun-dried clay, but nowadays it is fired for the sake of durability.

Ulla Viotti was born in Eskilstuna in 1933. She was trained at the School of Art in Blackpool, England as well as at the College of Arts, Craft and Design in Stockholm. At first she studied pottery, then she switched over to the department of industrial art. She was awarded a scholarship from the King´s Foundation and a travel stipend from the Friends of Värmland´s Museum. She also has international merits. Since 2005 she lives and works at Brantevik, Österlen.

Viotti is represented at the National Museum in Stockholm and in the collections of the Israeli state. Some of her public works are Hiding-place for Treasures in Örebro, Energy in Malmö and the Brick Wall in Aabenraa, Denmark. She also has yet another work in Kumla entitled The Shoe Corner.

Many visitors view Energy-Magic from a distance and believe that they can enter through the slit. However, they soon realize that their eye, or perhaps the work, is playing a trick on them. The work conveys a medieval feeling so that you might fantasize about where it has once been placed. Perhaps a fairy-tale castle? It is not strange if the thought has struck you. With its outer form and spatial volume it gives a majestic impression.

Viotti´s works often go hand in hand with architectural quality. In her bricklaying she has managed to reawaken old techniques and handling of patterns. In her work the bricks are given a distinct body, imposing and taut as well as sensual and feminine. Her works seem to come alive as the image of the brick shifts with the light. It changes depending on whether it is morning, daytime or evening light.

In her role as landscape artist Viotti incorporates her ceramic knowledge. One example of this is her second contribution to Art at the Top, Odin´s Garden, work number 33. More about that later.


Senast uppdaterad:
16 maj 2024
Sidan publicerad av:
Piia Edh