top of page


“Escape the Nightmare” and "Unexpected Visit" by Lena Mattsson 


In a dystopian time of war, violence and pandemic we might try to find our way back to our origins. For me personally this means Kungshamn in the region Bohuslän, where my granite-clad roots reside. The stormy sea, the red granite cliffs and the people there have shaped me. Usually we strive to move forwards, and we all dream of a better world. In my works I examine where we go when the movement gets cut off and we seem to get caught up in an endless loop. They can be seen as an invocation, a purification, an endless climbing on life’s metaphorical wobbly ladder where the present, the past and man’s internal psychological drama is being penetrated. We are always somewhere between beginning and end, between the water and the sky; the drama becomes vertical instead of horizontal. The ladder is also that of Jacob, where we meet the unknown which perhaps also on some level is the familiar. 


In focus is also the matter of environment and the magic of nature. We are in a field of tension between on the one hand the littering, poisoning and destruction; and on the other hand the breeding, life-affirming and magical – on an inner as well as an outer plane. It is my hope that my works can be seen as personal as well as universal. 


"Escape the Nightmare" ("Fly mardrömmen"), Island of light - Smögen 

Island of light - Smögen Sweden 

September 8th to 11th 2022 

Every evening from 8pm to 12pm


Lena Mattsson is showing four monumental site-specific synchronized, video mapped projections on “Magasinet”, the light blue boat house across the Smögen bridge. The work can be seen on all four sides of the house and it centers on questions of the circle of life and death. At any time the idyllic scene can fall apart, and a menacing sound is heard in the sky. The artist focuses on the protection of the separate individual, our communal magical nature and the natural environment. The music is created especially for the work by musician and art critic Conny C-A Malmqvist. 


"Unexpected Visit" (”Oväntat besök”), Island of light - Smögen 2022 

Island of light - Smögen Sweden

September 8th to 11th 2022

Every evening from 8pm to 12pm


Lena Mattsson projects life’s wobbly metaphorical ladder on a granite wall on the bridge of Smögen. Newly composed music by philosopher, art critic and musician Conny C-A Malmkvist.  

Photo: Robin Hayes, Siri Linde, Ann-Charlotte Arnborg-Larsson, Inger Andersen, Lena Mattsson 

Lena Mattsson works with film, photography and performance, but has also returned to the watercolor painting that once was her beginning. Nowadays she also often functions as curator, most recently together with Ola Åstrand at Borås Museum of Modern Art with the project Culture in the time of covid-19 and exhibition Generation – A reflection of the art scene during the 1990’s. Her own work often refer to art history and film, and take part in an intense dialogue with the past and present. She has presented her work in a great number of exhibitions all over the world. 


The artistic world of Lena Mattsson is presented in a recent book internationally distributed by Berlin-based publishing house Kerber Verlag. Lars Gustaf Andersson, John Peter Nilsson and Charlotte Wiberg have contributed texts highlighting different aspects of Mattsson’s works. The title of the book is Lena Mattsson: The Window Opens to the World – a quotation taken from art historian Måns Holst-Ekström on the art of Lena Mattsson.


During the fall of 2022 Lena Mattsson will take part in the exhibition Borås Bright Art with new works in the Borås Art Museum as well as new large scale works in the city-scape of Borås.

Watch Lena Mattsson's documentary film from the works "Escape the nightmare" and "Unexpected Visit". Music Conny C-A Malmqvist

av Glenn Glicko Andersson

bottom of page