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A documentary film by Lena Mattsson, Island of Light - Smögen 2022.

Uppdaterat: 20 sep. 2023

“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 2022

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.  

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.

"Escape the Nightmare" by Lena Mattsson, music Conny C-A Malmqvist, photo Siri Linde.

"Unexpected Visit" by Lena Mattsson, music Conny C-A Malmqvist, photo Katarina Frimodig

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"Escape the Nightmare" by Lena Mattsson, music Conny C-A Malmqvist

Photo: Glenn Glicko Andersson


av Glenn Glicko Andersson

Efter två års frånvaro på grund av pandemin så var äntligen Island of Light Smögen 2022 tillbaka. Premiär i torsdags kväll och trots en väderprognos om regn på fredagskvällen så var det mycket folk som var på plats och såg alla fina ljuskonstverk.

Förutom Sverige så finns det konstnärer från Österrike, Norge, Serbien, Slovenien och England på plats under helgen. Här kan du läsa mer om detta.

Konstnären Lena Mattsson som har ”Unexpected Visit” och ”Escape the nightmare” med i årets ljusfestival på Smögen och som jag blev mycket imponerad av. Lena är född i Kungshamn men som numera är verksam i Malmö fanns på plats på Smögen och jag fick faktiskt hälsat på henne på Smögenbryggan.

Fotografier och text av Glenn Glicko Andersson

Tryck på länken och läs mer och se fotografier av Glenn Glicko Andersson från

Island of Light - Smögen 2022.

A Study in Scarlet, video projection on the island of Bockholmen, Sweden by Lena Mattsson Photo: Christer Hallgren

Tidningen Ljuskultur


Konst med ljus som uttryck

Monumentala ljusprojektioner på Smögens klippor. Laserstrålar i regnbågens färger över öarna. Ljusreflektioner i havsvikar. Under ljuskonstfestivalen Island of Light samspelar ljuskonstverk med den bohuslänska naturen.



Sprakande kväll när ljusfestivalen på Smögen invigdes

Einzigartiges Festival in Smögen: Kunstgalerie des Lichts

Die bunten Häuser an der Uferpromenade von Smögen gehören zu den populärsten Fotomotiven Schwedens. Dieser imposante Ort ist seit 2018 Gastgeber eines einzigartigen Lichtfestivals, dem "Island of Light". Organisator Dulce Ahlberg stellt es vor.

Magazine Les Nouveaux Riches - Lena Mattsson Interview by KAJSA RHODIN

Lena Mattson’s impressive artistic career stretches through decades including numerous appearances in renowned institutions around the world. In her work life itself, that which is private to us and memories are woven together. The experienced reality shares the same surface as the recounted. One feels that the works are abstractions of the culmination of (perhaps) specific events that show neither their beginning nor their end. So they invite us to relate and connect.


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