”Frutti di Mare”: 10 years of Ingela Ihrman’s work at Malmö Konsthall

- in In English, Kultur, Kultur & Nöje, Recension

Are you ready to embark on a journey through the depths of art, humor, and profound reflections on existence? This fall, Malmö Konsthall presents the most extensive exhibition to date by the internationally acclaimed Swedish artist, Ingela Ihrman.

In this art show called ”Frutti di Mare,” you will be immersed in a unique and thought-provoking yet accessible experience that delves into the intricacies of life, nature, and the human condition.

Born in Kalmar in 1985, Ingela Ihrman is an artist whose work has captivated the attention of art enthusiasts worldwide. With her academic background at Konstfack in Stockholm, she currently resides and works in both Malmö and Stockholm. 

Ingela Ihrman’s piece ”Tarmtång”
(approx. ”intenstine seaweed”),
one of the pieces comprising
the larger ”A great seaweed day”.
Photo: Isak Aho Nyman

Ihrman’s art is a testament to her distinctive perspective on life. Her particular approach is characterized by a curiosity about the interplay between nature and humanity. She explores the intricacies of existence, shedding light on the connections between ourselves and the environment. She herself has a tight relationship with the outdoors and nature,

– I spent a lot of time in nature in the outskirts of cities in Sweden. And that’s what made an impression on me, a larger impression than going to a cafe, she says. 

The ”Frutti di Mare” exhibition at Malmö Konsthall offers an exploration of Ingela Ihrman’s artistic journey over the past decade. The exhibition comprises approximately twenty works, featuring sculptures, installations, videos, and performances. Her work was also exhibited in prestigious places like the Venice Biennale and the Carl Eldh Studio Museum in Stockholm.

Director of Malmö Konsthall, Mats Stjernstedt, describes the significance of this exhibition, stating, 

– Her works are cyclic in a sense that there is a life that can be described.

Mats Stjernstedt, curator
and museum director of
Malmö Konsthall har curated
the exhibition ”Frutti di mare”
showcasing Ingela Ihrman’s
works of the last ten years.
Photo: Isak Aho Nyman.

What sets this exhibition apart is Ihrman’s willingness to become an integral part of her art. During your visit, you may encounter the artist immersed in her sculptures, metamorphosing into characters such as a toad, mussel, or pine cone. These figures behave in unexpected ways, engaging with the audience by emitting scents, excreting nectar, giving birth, feeding, or reproducing.

The exhibition’s title, ”Frutti di Mare,” alludes to marine invertebrates with robust exteriors encasing delicate interiors. Ihrman draws a parallel between these creatures and her sculptural costumes, describing them as armor or a second skin that shields something vulnerable or conceals her within another identity. This intriguing concept adds layers of meaning to the exhibition, inviting visitors to contemplate the notions of protection and vulnerability within the realms of art and life. ”Frutti di Mare” transcends the conventional boundaries of a static art display; it’s a living and ever-evolving experience.

– Exhibitions formats are generally a bit stiff. The fact that this one changes throughout the period is a way to remind the art world that time also passes, even here, says Ihrman.

Artist Ingela Ihrman at Malmö Konsthall.
Photo: Isak Aho Nyman.

Throughout the exhibition’s duration, performances take place twice a week over the weekends, and the exhibition also includes a theater performance on November 15. Curated by director Mats Stjernstedt, the ”Frutti di Mare ” exhibition commences with a vernissage on September 29, and continues until January 14, 2024. Situated in the heart of Malmö, just a 15-minute train ride from Lund Central, it is effortlessly accessible to art enthusiasts.