A totem is any organism, animal or mythical and spiritual animal or plant that assists or symbolizes the character traits and characteristics of individuals, families, and clans. With this project, I wish to illustrate how people and social contexts in a modern world orient themselves towards and find truths in a number of modern myths. In the modern world, where religion and spiritualism are on retreat, the myths of individuals and groups become diverse, divergent and often conflict-filled.
The totem columns are an invitation to reflect on one’s stories, family, mythical creatures and the connection to nature that we often forget. What neo-tribal communities are we part of? What is our individual and common cultural identity? How are our contemporary stories conveyed?
The poles will also contain abstract elements that symbolize the dissolution of lines of sight, the confusion, and the moral ambiguity that has arisen in today’s society. The mythical creatures and stories are incomplete and the missing connections appear as disturbing and confusing elements.
The poles will be modular, able to change in our fast-changing society. The pieces will be assembled in a “LEGO” fashion, where one can change parts, as in our modern society change and flexibility is crucial.
During my stay at The Danish Art Workshops I have been able to create the wooden modular inner structure of the poles. I have been in the wood workshop using the CNC milling to be able to create these inner structures.
I have also been in the tufting workshop in order to create the tufted outside elements. The project is in its beginning phase and I have been playing around with the expression of the tufted elements. There will be other elements as wood carvings and plaster sculptures in the future. The totems are mostly in the white, beige, green and yellowish Gray shades, with hints of other colours, where necessary, to emphasize their origin in Scandinavian minimalism.
The tufted elements are then sewn together and then assembled on the wooden structures. The different totem modules can then be placed on top of each other in the wanted sequence.