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ARTIST: Cecilia Jansson and inmates from the Kumla prison (2015)


For a number of years Cecilia Jansson was employed to work with an art project at the Kumla prison. Together she and the inmates have worked on art decorations for the prison. For the 50th anniversary of the prison this tree, Yggdrasil, was created. According to the Old Norse Edda, Yggdrasil is the largest tree of the world under whose branches the gods gathered daily to hold court sessions.

Yggdrasil is the so-called world tree. According to Nordic mythology the intertwined roots are the base on which the nether world rests. At that time it was believed that the world was flat. When the earth was created the seed for Yggdrasil was at the very bottom of the well of deep wisdom. Then the seed sprouted forth, grew and sent out roots through the three wells of power. The tree grew larger and the trunk grew even higher. Finally the branches shot over each other. In the forks of the branches different worlds were created. Although the tree was gigantic, Yggdrasil is invisible to the human eye. The tree grows out of three roots that each stretches out to a well.

The first well is situated in dark Nifelheim. That is also where Nidhögg the dragon is chewing at the root of the tree. Tatatosk, the squirrel, runs at even intervals up the trunk to leave messages to Nidhögg from the eagle in Yggdrasil´s crown. The next root is found at Jutenheim´s edge by Mimer´s well. That is where Mimer the giant lives and he drinks out of the well of wisdom every day. The last root is in Asgård. That is where the Three Weird Sisters live. In this place the goddesses spin the destiny of the world and humankind.

Cecilia Jansson, born in 1975 in Örebro, has created Yggdrasil. She is one of the most internationally known artists in Örebro. She was trained as a potter and has studied at the Örebro art school, where she has been head teacher of sculpture. She has been to China several times to do art work. She has exhibited her work at Art Labor in Shanghai. She has also participated in the Venice biannual and the Open Art show in Örebro. Although she is basically a potter she has worked with many other techniques and materials, such as drawing, sculpture, porcelain, sewing and welding. The art work in front of you, Yggdrasil, is a cooperation between Jansson and inmates at the Kumla prison. They have worked with metal branches that reach up into the sky. The metal construction stands firm in spite of passing storms. This tree on top of mount Kvarntorp is filled with symbols of hope and despair, freedom and imprisonment.


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