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A Beautiful Entanglement

An interview with studio artist Paola Bruna about aesthetics, knowledge and the preschool Ringblomman's exhibition #kidsart.

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A Beautiful Entanglement

— I believe that through art one can learn about such things as mathematics and nature. Everything can be explored with aesthetic eyes, says Paola Bruna.

Paola Bruna works as a studio artist at the preschool Ringblomman in Botkyrka. With a solid education, both a master from Konstfack and a studio education at the Regio Emilia Institute, she has the tools to create the conditions for pleasurable learning together with the staff at the preschool.

— Through research we know that these cultural areas, art, music and dance, stimulate the brain to more easily grasp knowledge. If you lay an early foundation, I think school will be easier. We really have the ambition to show the outside world that this is the most wonderful way of learning things.

#kidsart

Right now, Ringblomman is exhibiting at Subtopia’s indoor gallery with an exhibition called #kidsart. The works are the gems of a two-year period of creation, put together by Paola Bruna and Rebecca Kempe. Mrs. Bruna explains that they have worked on exploring the possibilities of different materials, and the techniques in the exhibition are really varied. Sometimes the works were not born from coincidence, like the time coal was the only thing the children had to draw with, and what grew out of that was really exciting. Mrs. Bruna shows me a wall with charcoal drawings.

— Coal can look like this, which is awesome. As an artist myself, I feel like I should quit. They surpass me ten thousand times over. I shiver with delight when I look at what they do.

Based on the word “differences”, the children worked with mandalas and patterns.

Instead of art becoming an ego trip, we’ve put emphasis on creating the pieces together, explains Paola Bruna. One example is the paintings that the staff created during a training session, which the children afterwards had to build on and paint over. At Ringblomman they do not use erasers, but you can always repaint and start again.

Even those with difficulties concentrating are given the opportunity to step forward and be seen. The exhibition’s largest piece is a clear example of that. A huge pearl necklace entanglement occupying an entire wall.  Everyone might not have painted a self-portrait, but everyone has been involved in creating the necklace.

— The work is also loaded with symbolism. We’re inspired by the Regio Emilia pedagogy, and in it there is the concept of rhizomes, which deals with how everything is interconnected in a single blissful mess. It doesn’t have to be a straight line or a common thread. I interpret it as the fact that our roads cross, that we’re all connected. It can be a bit entangled, but it can also be very beautiful and interesting.

#kidsart is showing at Subtopia’s indoor gallery until May 14, weekdays 9am-5pm.

 

The preschool staff’s own paintings were built on by the children who painted over and repainted.