Text by Hope ‘Leye
Mexico, a gallery and ongoing curatorial project in Leeds city centre is currently playing host to a multi-disciplinary showcase of work entitled Our Times. Described by one of it’s curators, Amalie Jakobsen, as “a conversation between what is produced and what things are important right now “ and by co-curator Oskar Jonsson as a platform to “give freedom to every type of expression” . This exciting show brings together work and projects from fields as varied as jewellery design, architecture, political science, art and gardening.
Hope ‘Leye speaks to exhibiting artist Christian Skovgaard about his practice, and specific works in the show.
Hope ‘Leye: what is your practice about?
Christian Skovgaard: My background is architectural model building, illustration and graphic design, and I just finished a MFA course in Story Telling in Stockholm. As an architectural model builder you’re used to working for other people and building representations for other people, so the subject matter is never your own really. But now I’m using all the skills I have but filling in the content and subject matter myself.
HL: Do you consider yourself more as an architect or as an artist, or maybe a bit of both?
CS: I prefer for other people to decide that themselves. Like with this I was put down as a graphic designer and storyteller, based on the work I submitted, I guess. My main thing right now is making graphic novels which is also very much about mapping spaces and the interactions in them, but you get to unfold and expand stories in a very different way . I’m interested in the symbiosis between the two things. I like documenting spaces and the stories happening in and between them.
HL: Can you tell me a bit more about your work here today?
CS: Like this piece here – gesturing towards The Marble Church 1:350 – it very much tells a story. This plan here builds a story in your head, you have to build it up and construct it in your head from what you see in front of you. This is a paper model of a church in Copenhagen, which I also made a graphic novel about. It’s like a dialogue, you have everything you need in front of you but you still need to decipher it. If you had the tools you could cut it out and build the church. It’s two dimensional with the potential to become three dimensional and I like the tension created between that; being able to build it but then the reality of what’s on the wall. The two dimensional representation alluding to the 3D.
HL: What interests you about exhibiting here?
CS: It’s a great place where lots of different types of work can meet. For example I’m also leading a workshop on the 6th of October which is very much an extension of what you see here, so I’m bringing something but also then doing something as well. It’s going to be about the city and I want to bring people in to create a map of the city from memory then we’re going to create a city guide from this. It’s all very exciting.