Av mig är du kommen och konstnär varde ditt namn : En studie om Mathilde Wigert-Österlund och psykisk ohälsa i konsten

Detta är en Magister-uppsats från Uppsala universitet/Konstvetenskapliga institutionen

Sammanfattning: The aim of this study was to investigate the connection between an artists mental illness and his or her art and this was made with the artist Mathilde Wigert-Österlund (1873-1943) as an example. Wigert-Österlund was an artist who suffered from mental illness and was a patient at a mental institution during two periods throughout her life. After she became ill, she made textile artworks that have been considered to be products of her illness. To investigate if this is true or not and to understand Wigert-Österlunds means of expression, the study was based on the purpose that with Wigert-Österlund as example investigate the connection between mental illness and creative production and study the artist and the artists role as a social and cultural construction. This was done with the following questions: How did Mathilde Wigert-Österlunds artistic expression change when she became ill? What role did Wigert-Österlund take och recieve in the artistic field? And; what resemblances and differences were there between Wigert-Österlunds artworks and her contemporary textile art? The questions were answered with studies of literature and objects as material, together with a method of material culture. Theory of practice and a theory of the artist role were applied on the material and the results. The analysis shows that Wigert-Österlunds artistic expression primarily changed with her use of other techniques and materials than before and secondarily that she had a slight change in the choice of motif and especially symbols in her work. The works shows that Wigert-Österlund is to be considered as having the role of a melancholic artist due to the theory of the artists role. Her work had no distinct recemblances with the contemporary textile art but shows that she is considered to share habitus and expression with the artist group that were defined as painters. Wigert-Österlund and her textile artcan be considered as unique in the time they were made. The study also reveals that the groups within the field were changeable and that Wigert-Österlund and her variated expression made her belong to separate groups but that she might have identified herself with the one with highest social and cultural status. The study showed that there is a slight connection between mental illness and an artists expression and that an artist can correlate to an artistic role and at the same time be a production of and a construction of the society and its expectations connected to that construction.

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