An exploration of light and nature
TEXT: LIZ LONGDEN | PHOTOS © HERMAN LOHE
This month sees the first UK solo exhibition of London-based Swedish artist Herman Lohe, at London’s Fiumano Clase gallery. Through a combination of painting and video art, Nordic Tales pays homage to the unique natural beauty of northern Sweden, while also touching on universal themes of joy, sorrow, life and death.
The relationship between humanity and nature, and the power of nature to evoke and resonate, have been dominant themes in Lohe’s work, which spans 25 years and multiple disciplines. Nordic Tales continues this exploration with a combination of recent and older works, united by the theme of light and reflection. “Perception of light is one of the themes I often come back to when painting,” Lohe explains. “And there is a special sort of light and atmosphere in the northern parts of Sweden during summer, especially the summer nights, when the sun never sets.”
Lohe compares his art to music in its ability to communicate feelings on a non-verbal level, and much of his work strives to evoke his own emotional connection to nature. “Music is such a powerful art form – when you listen to it you could feel joy, sorrow, excitement, calmness, but seldom would you ask yourself the question ‘why?’,” he notes. “I paint with a similar approach in mind.”Among the emotions which Lohe explores is a palpable sense of nostalgia and longing, possibly fuelled by the fact that his paintings are often started in the midst of nature itself, and then finished far away, in his London studio.
Nordic Tales by Herman Lohe is showing until Saturday 6 July at Fiumano Clase gallery, London, and is kindly supported by Hernö Gin of Sweden.
In addition to paintings, Nordic Tales also presents video art and Andrés Clase, co-owner of Fiumano Clase gallery, says that the inclusion of such inherently non-commercial works is indicative of the gallery’s ethos. “We have a philosophy of supporting artists whom we believe in, and the primary goal is to show their work, not to put on a sell-out show.” Co-owner Francesca Fiumano adds: “Herman’s exhibition, like most of those we mount, is not about just getting people in to look at and buy paintings. It’s a much more immersive experience. We want people to feel that they have the time and space to really connect with the work,and to look at it in a different way.”