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«Det som ikke dreper deg, gjør deg sterkere»
(Trans. «What Does not Kill You, Makes You Stronger»)
– Two separate works, nr. 1 and nr. 2 – Both Triptycons. Acrylic on canvas.
In many of my works I incorporate elements of multiple meanings and functions. In these two pieces I have chosen to tie the nettle to the pentagram. Thus, this work visualizes contradictions and connections in nature, culture and social constructs surrounding us.
I have chosen to utilize the nettle because it grows all over the world and is known for its nutrition and health properties. At the same time, the poison from the nettle’s burning hairs is deadly to some species. For thousands of years, the nettle has also been used for production and dyeing of textiles. These abilities have for instance been utilised in military functions.
The pentagram is a widespread symbol of power used in various military and political contexts across the world, for instance in many flags. On the other hand, the pentagram is a symbol of harmony and beauty as its structure is an exact dissection of the golden ratio.
The golden ratio is present everywhere in nature and the universe. Even if it is not evident at first glance, this principle is also present in the nettle’s biological structure.
In this piece, the nettles are painted more or less realistic, threatening in size and tall as men. In the middle, the construction of the pentagram beams towards the observer in a fluorescent neon-yellow color to visualize the nettle’s burning properties. The traces from the construction of the pentagram is a part of the painting, both tactile and visually. In this way I also refer to, and include, mathematics and biology. Both the nettle and the pentagram are dualistic in that they both contain and represent “good” and “evil,” hence the work’s title «Det som ikke dreper deg, gjør deg sterkere»translating to “What does not kill you, makes you stronger.”