Ekta Sketchbooks Vol. I–III by Lundgren+Lindqvist, Sweden
Opinion by Richard Baird.
Ekta Sketchbooks is a three volume book collection dedicated to the work of Ekta, the moniker of Swedish animator, sculptor, designer and illustrator Daniel Götesson (b. 1978). Limited to 300 copies and available from ll’Editions these present—through pages thickened by collages, drawings and layers of paint and tape—moments of creative relief, and represent the context for the endless experimentation that characterises Ekta’s process and output. What is particularly distinctive about Ekta Sketchbooks is that many of the pages have the quality of original works. These reference the past, and offer glimpses into Ekta’s future output, and have been bound into three volumes with embossed and gold stamped covers, and united in a personalised fabric covered box, designed by Scandinavian studio Lundgren+Lindqvist.
Ekta has been able to challenge traditional categorisation by staying true to a clear artistic vision across many different mediums and contexts, and has enabled him to exhibit work all over Europe. The publication of Ekta Sketchbooks, which captures this vision, followed a rare glimpse by Lundgren+Lindqvist into a few of Ekta’s sketchbooks, hidden in a drawer under his table.
Lundgren+Lindqvist effectively translates the context of these drawings using material thinking and form language. Leather embossed covers, gold block foil print finish and ribbon bookmark clearly articulate, through shape and material language, the spontaneity, immediacy and explorative nature of the work within through the universality of the notebook. The connection made between artistic process and a common everyday experience is effective and compelling, whilst maintaining a sense of value and craft, rather than utility.
Inside, pages of Ekta’s sketchbooks have been scanned and meticulously reproduced, delivering a crafted facsimile of the artist’s sketchbooks using a state-of-the-art Komori HPT press and by printing on uncoated Munken Kristall paper. The interplay between sketchbook and art book is interesting, intelligible and engaging, blending design craft with a thoughtful and well-intentioned idea and story rooted in discovery.
Highlights include the single coloured papers, head and tail bands and bookmarks that divide volumes that share a material continuity and offer a hint of the colour within, the handmade cloth-bound slipcases painted, signed and numbered by the artist, and a supplementary booklet enclosed in a pocket inside the back cover of volume III. This features an essay by author, playwright and artist Henrik Bromander, who was invited to associate and write freely based on the content of the sketchbooks. The booklet also includes a critical essay by artists and gallerists Mattia Lullini and Alina Vergnano of Nevven Gallery.
Content and form are well matched, contextualising in a physical non-verbal way, the nature of the work within. It goes on to further contextualise and give weight to much of Ekta’s past and future work. It functions to make a more personal connection between reader and artist on multiple levels. Through familiar form and finish, and the depth and insight of critical essays and the visceral qualities and exploration of image. More work by Lundgren+Lindqvist on BP&O.
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