Emilia Bergmark

Photography by Rikke Ehlers and Scott Raby    Verdens Ende, 2023
‘Verdens Ende’ a solo exhibition by Emilia Bergmark at Skal Contemporary, Skagen, DK

If we imagine the horizon for our inner gaze, what does it look like? Perhaps it is exactly the point where the sky meets the sea. Maybe there is only sky and sea. Perhaps it seems untouched by human influence. And perhaps such a horizon does not exist at all in the world we inhabit.

The newly produced exhibition Verdens Ende by Emilia Bergmark tells a story about the landscape at Skagen in our anthropocene age where nothing is untouched by humans; not even the sky meeting the sea at the horizon, or the flight of birds crossing the sky. Central to the exhibition is a large woven tapestry, the motifs of which were created during a stay at the Skagen Fuglestation (Det Grå Fyr), where Bergmark in the early spring of 2023 lived and worked together with the local and international community of bird watchers, researchers, and birds who live on site.

Verdens Ende takes its point of departure from Grenen near Skagen, but just like the migratory birds that migrate from Grenen to large parts of the world, the exhibition also relates to global tendencies and challenges. We live in the midst of a mass extinction caused by human's predatory nature and overuse of its resources. Bird life, which can be observed at Skagen, for example, is an important indicator of the state of the local and global ecosystems. Changes in the bird population are an essential indicator of biological cascade effects, and it has therefore been particularly interesting for Bergmark to investigate a place where the birds have been the protagonists for a long time.

Verdens Ende was curated by Anne Møller Christensen and Sara Løvschall Grøntved and kindly supported by the Danish Arts Foundation, North Denmark Region, 15 Juni Fonden, the Municipality of Frederikshavn, and Grosserer L.F. Foght's Fond. Emilia Bergmark has collaborated with the Naturstyrelsen Vendsyssel, Skagen Fuglestation, and a number of knowledgeable locals in the development of the exhibition.

Curatorial text written by  Anne Møller Christensen and Sara Løvschall Grøntved

   Verdens Ende, 2023
A narrative tapestry in wool, woven on a digital TC2 loom,  machine embrioidered text and graphics, 210 cm x 270 cm.

The World’s End is the name of the outermost peninsula of Skagen where many of the local birders go to count birds. Bergmark borrows this ominus name for her large narrative tapestry that turns our gaze to the horizon. The motif tells a story of an age where nothing is untouched by humans, not even the sky that meets the sea at the horizon, or the flight of birds crossing the sky.

Bergmark builds a visual narrative of the ongoing ecological crises in a time when the impacts of climate change and biodiversity loss are increasingly perceptible in our everyday life. Dead fish are washed ashore, suffocated by oxigen depletion, the weather is crazy, the fall is hot, and violent cloudbursts cause floods all over Denmark. Embroidered on the weave are short texts that capture feelings of fear, sorrow, and loss sometimes diagnosed as climate anxiety.

The work is produced at the National Workshops for Arts. The machine embroidery is made by Malmö Embroidery. The yarn is dyed with plant dyes and acid dyes with Karin Bergmark.