Birgitta Lund’s work has always been a reckoning with the past: a deeply personal excavation of memory rooted in family, an exploration of the effect of one generation on another. Her means include old family photographs layered with self-portraits, worn objects that embody absence – scuffed blue shoes, old water jars, a child’s wooden chair – and writing. The same, pointed handwriting, appearing in journal entries and lines of poetry laid over images, reveals an intimate process of interpreting and reclaiming history. This writing, this work, creates a response to a past in which one may not have had a voice. The present self negotiates for space.
In its earliest incarnation, Fingers Touch Upon The Drawing Of My House, was marked by a sense of fragility. The work dealt very physically with the drawing and crossing of boundaries, the significance of a touch. With Tonight The House Blew Open the starkness, the historicizing black and white of earlier photographs made way for color, and a sense of mutability and turmoil. The current body of work turns a corner, conveying a process of repair, resolve and the roots of joy.
Birgitta Lund is able to distill emotions into images with the clarity, vividness and intangible quality of dreams. It is perhaps this quality that enables her work to communicate so directly. Her strength as an artist lies in immediacy: she knows how to draw us in, and by telling her story in exquisite fragments, manages to open doors to those places we may have thought distant and impenetrable in ourselves.
Introduction, folder Fingers Touch Upon The Drawings Of My House, 2000, self-published.