In the exhibition, Migratory Birds at Kirsten Kjaers Museum, five paintings from the series Papaver Variabilis are juxtaposed with eight paintings by Kirsten Kjaer. They have a dialogue and share an enthusiasm — Kirsten Kjærs paintings are very simple, while Bodil Brems are thoroughly worked through.
Participation in SUBROSA – the flower in Nordic contemporary art in 2000 inspired the series Papaver variabilis. The exhibition stated that 100 years ago, women gained admission to the Royal Danish Academy of Arts in Copenhagen. Here, flower-painting became a limitation. This created a resistance against flower painting in Bodil Brems, and as an answer to this, she created gene manipulations/improvements of the poppy. A photo is varied on the computer as a parallel to the gardener, who changes a real flower via managed pollination. The new poppies with different forms and colours are used as starting points for the series Papaver Variabilis – painted on canvas, something new is created, and no plants are disturbed.
The meeting between Kirsten Kjaer and Bodil Brems has two themes: The wind in the landscape and the flowers. Kirsten Kjaer grew up in Thy. This region has few and small flowers. They bring an immediate joy and gentleness to the barren landscape and must have inspired her growing up.
In Thy, the wind twists the trees into unexpected shapes – a portrait of wind – it is a companion, a way of living and is often experienced as a headwind. It will develop stubbornness, endurance and energy and shape people as it shapes trees – maybe you get dependent on headwind. Migratory birds fly out and return – experience the headwind and use the tailwind – Kirsten’s longing stretched out and stretched back – it resonates.
The exhibition was open at Kirsten Kjærs Museum from 5th August to 24 September 2023.