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Nanna Johanson-Quillin

Nanna Johanson-Quillin will present her work to visitors on Thursday 19 July 2018 from 2 to 7.30 PM // Like all the artists taking part in the exhibition Ecole(s) suédoise(s) de Paris, she has agreed to answer our questions.
© Nanna Johanson-Quillin. The format of the visuals has been modified.

Date of birth: 15.12.1958
Place of birth: Gothenburg, Sweden
Place of residence: Paris, France

Where did you train?

1977: Baccalaureate, Lycée Ferney-Voltaire, France.
1978-81: Beaux-Arts in graphics: Anders Beckmans Skola, Stockholm, Sweden.
1988: Ecole d’Architecture, Avignon. Fresco technique.

When and for what reasons did you settle in France?

My artist parents moved to France in 1972 when I was 14. I returned to Sweden in 1978 and stayed until 1984 to study at the Beaux-Arts. I came back to France and settled permanently in 1984 in order to devote myself entirely to painting. I found France inspired me more in my approach as a painter, as much for its nature as for the cultural life.

What does France represent for you?

First, there is in France a pulsation and a very stimulating energy, the countless painters who have resided in France over the ages are proof of that. That energy is to be found in nature as in the great metropolis, but is expressed differently. It’s very creative in itself.
The Côte d’Azur, the Var, where I lived for 12 years, with its light and its smells of earth baked by the sun, gave me the feeling of being at home.
Paris, where I’ve been living and working since 1994, and where I was given a studio in which I can also live, represents an immense chance for me to be in that great cultural mix, rich in exhibitions, great painters and artists of all outlooks, and is in itself stimulating and creative.

What about Sweden?

It’s my country of origin, of childhood. I have my roots in the archipelagos, in the polar circle with its huge expanses of nature quasi-untouched, where silence reigns. The wild side of me awakens when I put my feet in that country. It’s also there that I recharge my batteries, along the endless beaches of the South. I have exhibited a lot in Stockholm, in Gothenburg and elsewhere, which enables me to keep a connection with Sweden through my work. It also gives me the possibility to visit my family.

What are your sources of inspiration and where do they come from?

I find my sources of inspiration in nature that resonates in me and in meditation that reflects my inner being. So it’s in India, the Himalayas and Nepal that my quest and thirst for light, sound and the deep meaning of life have found an echo and an answer; the consciousness, the mother energy, ‘That’, which animates us all.”

How would you define yourself and/or how would you define your work?

I wouldn’t like to define myself, which would limit and remove the very meaning of freedom, that great ocean of endless possibilities that is life. As for my work, I hope it is a reflection of what is, of what I am, of what we are…