Solo Residency exhibition, Unit 1 Gallery, London January 2019
Settemsdal’s practice is fascinated by the mutability of object and mediums as well as our indescribable and often impossible relationship to our environment. Investigations into emblems as well as symbols of material prosperity, Solveig presents an upturned world, where the understood becomes the uncanny and can not return to the mundane. Hundreds of toy animals recruited as moulds shed their transparent silicone skins to be re-fossilised in some failed attempt to return them to the origin of fossil fuels that created them.
Resources, here in the form of the silicone skin casts of toy animals, are coated in pearlescent pigment before being compressed into frames forming a large inflatable sculpture, mirroring the photographing process.
The ubiquitous luxury accessory of the swimming pool becomes a device to discuss the nature of water hoarding. Swimming pool schematics conjure geometric perfection, a sort of Hollywood Golden Mean. Settemsdal’s gaze is upon the aspirational materialism gone wrong and the resultant damage and abuse of our environment. The palm tree, forever connected to the holiday destination, imbedded in our minds as the symbol of escape, stands falsely offer the glittery shiny seen, sentry to a dream turned nightmare. The associations and links Settemsdal presents lead us to question and look beyond the habit of western consumerism.
Stacie McCormick, Unit 1 Gallery