The first time I met Jesper and Paula was during this summer’s perhaps most gritty festival, Into the Valley. They were polishing an installation that was completely covered by mirrors, and I can’t remember wether I found it ambitious or stupid. Or maybe both.
After bumping in to the duo multiple times during the festival, I understood that they were in charge of all the art during Into the Valley, that they were not only partners in art but in love, too, and that they do extremely cool stuff. I wanted to know more about them and their collaboration regn., and when I got back to Stockholm I set up a meeting with them and their dog Yoda.
Who are you?
– We are Jesper Carlsson and Paula Martin. We’re a couple, work together and live on Söder with our dog Yoda.
How did you meet?
– We met at a house party in Jordbro, made out on the night bus and had food at Trafiket. Then we became a couple.
What is regn.?
– Regn. is our collaborative project where we draw and create nice things. We do design, art and carpentry.
Why did you chose the name regn. (Swedish for rain)?
– We love it when it rains. It doesn’t pose any demands, and it’s harmonic.
How does your collaboration work?
– We come up with ideas, sketches and end result together. Jesper is originally a carpenter and is responsible for the constructions. Paula is in charge of colours, presentation, fonts, design and sketches. When we produce something, Jesper builds and Paula paints.
– Ideas can come whenever, often during sleepless nights. What we do for a living is such a big interest of ours that we tend to talk about “work” a lot. Our expressions are very much in synk, which makes it easy to collaborate and to develop each other’s ideas. We often come up with ideas for the same or similar works or furniture, and we tend to pick up on the same things in our surroundings.
Can you tell us a little bit about the installation “In reflection” that was showing at Trädgården?
– “In reflection” was made for “Art Into the Valley by Burn”. One night in Vietnam, we got the basic idea for what would develop into the final installation. We wanted to create something that was interactive and would suit the festival, something that would be enhanced by the atmosphere and the music. We like that there are two sides of the piece and that they are so different – the movement and the never ending inside, and the outside that is so big but still melts into its surroundings.
What is the most important thing for you as creatives?
– The most important thing is that we can stand for what we create and see ourselves in it. And above all to have a nice time while working. And of course it’s very important for us that whoever hires us gets what they expected or more.
You don’t just do art and installations, but you’ve done an urn as well. Could you tell us about that?
Paula: My grandfather past away very suddenly, and it was important for us do to everything his way. He never would have wanted a traditional urn or funeral. My grandfather was an artist and always encouraged us in our work, so we wanted Jesper to build the urn and to make it look as if it was going into space. The shape and materials were chosen with inspiration from my grandfather, life and death.