Bolonga bookfair 2013

I was one of the chosen to represent Swedish illustration on the Bolonga Bookfair 2013. Here comes the cataloges description about me and Evil Dress, the book that was picked out to be shown at the bookfair. Below that you can se a image of me and the presentaion of my work at the

Emelie Östergren has her very own take on the world. The book Evil Dress, 2009 contains 14 separate stories with and without text. It should perhaps be described as a pictorial story rather than a picturebook, although it is a book containing pictures. It opens and closes with a reference to Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland,  a story that has slightly surreal undertones. This is a feature repeated in Emelie Östergren’s imagery, which also has Gothic influences. The subjective fantasy world that she creates is the setting for the various fragmentary tales, which offer both fear-tinged delight and melancholy insight.

The story of The Dollhouse involves an attempt at communication. The bored girl in the pink dress asks the pipe-smoking dandy whether they can do something, maybe play together. This leads to her starting to move things around randomly, including the books on the bookshelf, which she builds up around her while the man smokes and smokes. In response to his silence, she sets the curtains on fire, the armchairs and a bust of an angel, yielding an immediate reaction in a torrent of insults as he tries to put out the fire. Her vain and repeated attempts to resolve the impossible situation culminate in an ambivalent ending. Both characters sit on the floor in front of a newly lit fire in the fireplace, him with his arm around her back.  A similar lack of resolution can be found in the series about the two girls in white dresses with sailor collars. One girl grasps the other’s neck harder and harder, pushes her away, sets fire to her and finally puts a conciliatory arm around the scorched girl. There is always a serious undertone in the subjective choices that are made, filled as they are with an uncomfortable sense of total loneliness. under the apparently screwball surface there is always an honest and direct story. The way that Emelie Östergren mixes the sweet with the grotesque, honesty with gallows humour, in strong and sparse images, is raw and emotional, uncomfortable and charged, offering something for adults and young people alike.

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I also was a part of the exibiton UpsideDown at the achelogical museum with contemporary Swedish illustration. The main artist was the great Eva Lindström. A really nice made exibition with alot of interest and visitors. For the opening it was 700 guests and it came even more. “Som en sardin i en sardinask”. Dow below you can se me again infront of the show.

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