Cecilia Jansson is known for her well-crafted sculptures and large scale embroidery and drawing. The recipient of a Swedish Art Council working grant, she recently had a two-person show with Geoffrey Chadsey at Örebro Konsthall and group exhibitions at Sculpture Space NYC, InCUBE Arts NYC and 3:e Våningen Gothenburg, they also invited her to The Others Art Fair Turin 2019. Residencies include Swatch Art Peace Hotel Shanghai, The Pottery Workshop Jingdezhen, NARS Foundation New York, School of Visual Arts NYC, and Guttenberg Arts New Jersey. She has been the head teacher in sculpture at Örebro Art College Sweden, guest lecturer at Yunnan Arts Institute China, and jury member at OpenART Biennial Sweden. Cecilia was selected to exhibit at Swatch Faces at the Venice Biennial 2015.

She is represented by Gallery Art Labor in Shanghai since 2011.


Artist statement

”I create physical objects embodying the process of personal identity being shaped by society over time. I use different materials to convey the visceral tension between societal structures and the individual, to counteract an increasing tendency to categorize people into oversimplified groups, often based on racist, religious or misogynist philosophies.

My materials are chosen depending on their history, physical attributes like smell and tactility, and visual and semiotic properties. I express myself mainly through drawing and sculpture, often utilizing time-consuming techniques like hand-building porcelain, welding or silk stitching.”


Memberment – Örebro Konsthall

”A tunic made of asphalt resembles both a sequined gown and a hair shirt. Its surface may seem burned to a crisp, but is still impenetrable. A prehistoric creature formed from bread and porcelain has not yet evolved into anything recognizable, and a sunburned man in a cowboy hat and a cable-knit sweater seems unconcerned with the third hand gently strangling him. A young man, perhaps a prince, has deigned to be crowned by a fast-food chain.

Under the title Memberment, Cecilia Jansson and Geoffrey Chadsey present Man as a bearer of conflicting biological and cultural processes. Jansson shows sculptural work, and Chadsey drawings. Both artists portray the human being as an entity in constant transformation. Our bodies – like the objects with which we surround ourselves – are politically and historically charged constructions. The world receives its meaning from the way in which we exist within it, and are able to relate to our own heritage.

In the artistic practice of Cecilia Jansson, this is expressed through an investigative approach to material itself. Her attitude is frank and direct, while still rendering the human body as well as other forms of life as uncertain, currently in flux or imbued with a potential of turning into something entirely different. This metamorphosis finds its source in nature and the cultivation of the natural world inherent in human activity. A similar sensibility is present in her interpretation of the form, surface or traits of any everyday thing. Such as a potato. Jansson’s sculptures are not just objects in an existing space – instead they interact with their surroundings much like a person. They find a place, claim their own place, or challenge a place by not quite fitting.

Geoffrey Chadsey’s imagery takes a more visually direct focus to the subject of “man-as-construction.” In large scale drawings of full-length people, the human being is represented as a place where numerous identities overlap. As seen by Chadsey, the individual becomes an ambiguous keeper of cultural experience and influence, and as such also something that escapes a fixed definition. The artist’s work is founded in classic portraiture, but in his images culture appears as pure surface, and biology as an intrusive element that cracks the shell a person has chosen to occupy or hide behind. His forces of nature do not seem a question of choice the way those outer trappings do.

Although Memberment – a play on the word “dismemberment” – is based on a common theme and a similar mode of working, the practice of each artist maintains its own distinct space. If Jansson’s objects exist outside a specific timeframe, Chadsey’s subjects are products of this contemporary Western age, with its particular mass cultural signifiers. Not in a way that makes them complete each other. This is rather a case of two distinctive artists showing us their respective viewpoint on a shared area of interest. Together, their work establishes a common geography, within which each person can conduct their own investigation.”

Anna Ganslandt

(translation by Andreas Vesterlund)


Memberment – Örebro Konsthall

”En tröja av asfalt påminner både om en paljettbeströdd festblåsa och en tagelskjorta. Ytan kan tyckas sönderbränd men är samtidigt ointaglig. Ett urtidsdjur av bröd och porslin har ännu inte utvecklats till något igenkännligt, och en rödbränd man i cowboyhatt och flätstickad angorajumper verkar obrydd över en tredje hands lätta strypgrepp om halsen. En yngling, kanske en prins, har låtit sig krönas av en hamburgerkedja.

Under rubriken Memberment låter Cecilia Jansson och Geoffrey Chadsey människan träda fram som bärare av motstridiga biologiska och kulturella processer. Jansson visar skulpturala verk och Chadsey teckningar. Hos bägge konstnärerna gestaltas människan och hennes erfarenheter som någonting under ständig omvandling. Kroppen – liksom de föremål vi omger oss med – är en politiskt och historiskt betingad konstruktion. Världen får sin betydelse utifrån det sätt på vilket vi vistas i den och förmår förhålla oss till vårt arv.

I Cecilia Janssons praktik kommer detta till uttryck genom ett undersökande förhållningssätt till själva materialet. Tilltalet är rakt och okonstlat, samtidigt som kroppen och det levande framstår som något obestämt, under pågående förvandling eller med en inneboende möjlighet att bli till något helt annat. Denna omvandling tar sin utgångspunkt i naturen och den kultivering av densamma som åtföljer människan. Ett liknande handlag präglar hennes tolkning av formen, ytan eller egenskaperna hos något helt alldagligt. Som en potatis. Janssons skulpturala verk är inte objekt i en befintlig rymd – snarare interagerar de med rummet på samma sätt som människa och värld. De finner sin plats, tar sin plats eller utmanar platsen genom att inte riktigt rymmas.

Geoffrey Chadseys konstnärskap förhåller sig mer direkt till själva ”människobygget”. I storskaliga teckningar av gestalter, ofta i helfigur, skildras människan som den plats där olika identiteter avlöser varandra. Den mänskliga individen blir hos honom en tvetydig innehavare av kulturell erfarenhet och påverkan, och som sådan också något som alltid undandrar sig en fast definition. Chadsey utgår från det klassiska porträttet, men i hans gestaltningar framträder kulturen som något yttre, och biologin som något som tränger sig på och spränger det skal människan har valt att befinna sig inom eller gömma sig bakom. Hans naturkrafter framstår inte som valbara på samma sätt som de yttre attributen.

Även om Memberment – en anspelning på ordet dismemberment (styckning, söderdelning) – utgår från en gemensam tematik och ett liknande arbetssätt träder de konstnärliga praktikerna fram var för sig. Om Jansons objekt befinner sig bortom en fastslagen tid, så gestaltas Chadsey’s människa utifrån vår västerländska samtid och dess masskulturella särdrag. Inte på ett sådant sätt att de kompletterar varandra. Snarare ser vi två egenartade konstnärer ge varsin synvinkel på ett delat intresseområde. Tillsammans upprättar deras verk en gemensam geografi, inom vilken var och en kan genomföra sin egen undersökning.”

Anna Ganslandt



Short description of artistic practice recent years:

2019 started with a three months residency at Guttenberg Arts, New Jersey. I worked with a new series of sculptures made of porcelain, asphalt and silicone. I had a workshop in edible art and participated in a group show there in March.

In May I exhibited at gallery Tredje Våningen in Gothenburg and in September I had a two-person show, “Memberment”, with Geoffrey Chadsey at Örebro Konsthall.

In November I participated in The Others Art Fair, Turin, Italy, invited by gallery 3dje våningen.

2018 I was working in New York with new works in porcelain and silicone at Sculpture Space NYC and participated in their member show.

I was invited to show my ongoing projects at Nars Foundation Open Studio event in Brooklyn and I exhibited in the group show “Nu” at Konstfrämjandet Bergslagen.

In 2017, I studied 3D printing in ceramics at the School of Visual Arts ”Techno-Ceramics” Summer Residency Program in New York, and worked in addition to this full-time with a decorating assignment at a Swedish high security prison, Kumla Prison.

I was also a juror for the Sculpture Biennial OpenART, Örebro.

In 2016, I had a solo exhibition ”self” at Örebro University, where I showed my series ”Cultivation” in bread and porcelain from a residency at the NARS Foundation and Sculpture Space NYC.

Parts of the ”Cultivation” series I also showed at Gallery InCube Arts, Manhattan and at the NARS Foundation, Brooklyn.

2015 began with a group exhibition at Gallery Art Labor in Shanghai, with works in porcelain from my ”Identiteeth” series from Jingdezhen and new works in print on the silk – ”Jinmai” – from a stay in Shanghai 2014.

During the spring, I made a large work in metal, commissioned by the Prison and Probation Service, as a permanent part of the Kvarntorp sculpture park, in collaboration with the inmates at the Kumlaanstalten.

I also created the work ”Now”, a 60 min long film that embodies the environment at Kumla Prison, for the OpenART biennial in Örebro. This work was displayed next to the police house throughout the summer.

During the latter part of the year, I collaborated with Chinese film director Yan Zhou as she documented the art project with inmates at the Kumla Prison for the 70-minute documentary ”Kobbar”. The film premiered at the Stockholm Film Festival in the fall of 2016.

In the fall of 2015, I was invited by Swatch to show works and to work on my art at the Venice Biennale.

I showed a series of four hand-knotted rugs, ”Zhinü sisterss sisters”, and created the five-meter-long textile work ”Qixi bridge from Kumla Prison” that I embroidered on site in the Swatch Pavilion on Arsenale North for 6 weeks.