The work of Finnish artist Sara Bjarland will be part of Beaufort24, the Triennial By the Sea, an art happening along the Belgian coastline.
“I’m very excited about participating in the next edition of the Beaufort Triennial, along with so many great fellow artists. It’s absolutely fabulous to get this opportunity to make a work on a large scale in a public space and I’m hoping you will all come and see it!” shares Sara Bjarland.
The Province of West Flanders and Westtoer will present the eighth edition of Triennial Beaufort on the Belgian coast in 2024. Eighteen artists present unique works in the nine participating coastal municipalities. “The place is central to the 2024 edition,” says curator Els Wuyts. “The theme ‘Fabric of Life’ is therefore an invitation to unfold certain perspectives or known views on the coast and to untie that fabric of relationships, strings, loops, braids, cables, swarms and scales. Just as in a grand monument or an intimate work of art, more than one storyline can be found and multifaceted memories or undiscovered values float to the surface.” The eighth edition of the Triennial Beaufort runs from March 27 to November 3, 2024.
The Finnish Cultural Institute for the Benelux’s Head of Programme, Malin Bergström, who has previously collaborated with Sara Bjarland shares:
“Sara’s work focuses on neglected and disregarded objects, fortified in serene and seemingly delicate sculptures, as if capturing a fleeting image or a memory in time. There is a tone to the work that is silent and eerie, and it is wonderful to be stood amidst her sculptures, trying to listen in to their lifestories – of how they became from what they were to what they are, and how we look at them differently, now when they are brought into new light.”
The eighth edition of Beaufort builds on the known elements: national and international visual artists who create unique images that can be accessed and visited 24/7. Together they form the works of art an exhibition in the public space along the entire coastline, 65 kilometres long. The artistic creations integrate into the environment, and give the place where they are seen a different dimension.
“The new installations will be conscious, meaningful and… exert modest influence on existing ideas and trains of thought and in their imaginations accessible, tangible or be unruly. At a crossroads, a rolling dune, a quiet area or a simple roundabout, a lighthouse or a waterfront. Or in it foam from the tides or the shallow pools on the beach, along the grooves in the oily farmland or near the joints of those typical dike tiles along the Belgian coast.” “Beaufort24 moves a little more inland and offers a series of visual proposals along the coastal tram that connects port zones, village centres, markets, dikes, fields and parks in one movement,” says Els Wuyts.
The artistic selection consists of a mix of works by national and international artists:
- Filip Vervaet (B) and Maëlle Dufour (B) in De Panne
- Johan Creten (BE/FR) and Jorge Macchi (AR) in Koksijde-Oostduinkerke
- Selva Aparicio (SP) and Alexandra Bircken (DE) in Nieuwpoort
- Lucy + Jorge Orta (UK/AR) and Jef Meyer (B) in Middelkerke –Westende
- Femmy Otten (NL) and Marius Ritiu (RO) in Ostend
- Sara Bjarland (FIN) and Pei-Hsuan Wang (TAI) in De Haan-Wenduine
- Romain Weintzem (FR) and Driton Selmani (KOS) in Blankenberge
- Monika Sosnowska (PO) in Zeebrugge, together with a second work in co-production with Triennial Bruges 2024
- Richard Deacon (UK) and Lucie Lanzini (FR) in Knokke-Heist
Eight of the works of art presented during Beaufort24 are permanent works and so is the Beaufort Sculpture Park which continues to grow. With the new works of art it will total 50 works of art.
More information: www.triënnabeaufort.be
About the Artist
Sara Bjarland (b.1981, Helsinki) is a Finnish artist based in Amsterdam. She graduated from the Slade School of Fine Art in London in 2007 and in 2012-2013 she participated in the studio programme at Higher Institute for Fine Arts in Ghent. Recent exhibitions include ‘What My Hands Know’ at Arti et Amicitiae in Amsterdam (2023), ‘Deposits’ at Sculptor Gallery in Helsinki (2022), ‘with Love’, curated by Maria Ragnestam, Museum Anna Nordlander in Skellefteå, ‘Constant Eruptions’ at Hopstreet Gallery, Brussels (2020) and “Crumple, fail, faint, fall’ at Galleri Sinne, Helsinki (2020), ‘Uncertainty and Ground Conditions’ at DASH, Kortrijk (2019). In 2020 she received the William Thuring award from the Finnish Arts Association and in 2019 she was one of the five short listed artists for Below Zero Prize for Finnish artists (initiated by the Finnish Institute in London). Her work has been acquired by Kiasma Museum for Contemporary Art (Helsinki), The Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation (Helsinki) and several private collections in Belgium, Finland and The Netherlands.
For her sculptures, installations, photos and videos, Sara Bjarland collects discarded objects or litter from waste heaps. She searches the streets in garbage containers and container parks and takes the broken, faded and stained items she finds under her care and back to her studio. Used mops, old ventilation pipes and textiles from worn-out furniture are exposed, turned inside out or take on new shapes.
Her making process is intuitive and takes into account the sculptural and aesthetic qualities of the various objects. She investigates how these worthless materials can serve as meaning carriers for a new life as a work of art. Sometimes she appropriates the objects she finds and changes them in such a way that a parasol, sponge or sunshade evoke new associations. Sometimes she casts the weathered chairs, abandoned cacti or worn car tires in classic materials such as ceramic or bronze. By multiplying the number of objects in her work, she simultaneously shows the magnitude of an ecological problem and asks questions about the many things we think we need so much one day, and the the next day stack it on the ever-growing waste mountain.
Sara Bjarland creates a contemporary landscape in which boundaries fade and forms an intermediate area where every lifeless object is transformed into a mobile organism. She subtly pays attention to inanimate and living things and gives new appreciation to what has been thrown away, broken and banished. With her work she overturns the strict division between life and death, between the natural and the artificial, beauty and tragedy.
Visit Sara Bjarland’s website to learn more about her work.
Photo of Sara Bjarland by Joke Schut.