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Concrete, steel, gilded metal

Courtesy New Art Centre, Roche Court (2007)

In a circular clearing dedicated to Gordon Miller, agent to the 8th Lord and Lady Berwick, at the top of Mile Walk, stands a 4 metre high stone tower that from a distance might appear to be a Victorian folly. Inside this isolated structure, visible only through narrow windows, is a tiny, exquisite gilded hot-air balloon. The title of Charlotte Gyllenhammar’s work, Traum, is German for ‘dream’, but its sound suggests other words like ‘room’ or ‘trauma’. The simple and unsettling presentation of a delicate floating balloon imprisoned in a heavy and brutal tower evokes the complex psychological constructs involved in keeping ones dreams and ideals alive.

Charlotte Gyllenhammar

Many of Charlotte Gyllenhammar’s works represent states of mind or highly emotionally charged situations that often provoke in the viewer a reaction of creeping anxiety and fascination. Her art keeps returning to themes such as falling, the borders between outer and inner space, the limits of the private sphere, lack of freedom, memories and threatening images. She also frequently touches on concepts such as beauty and femininity.

Gyllenhammar's art is imbued with a recurring surrealistic aspect though her imagery is not surrealist in the traditional sense, but rather uses a sense of disorientation to introduce or suggest alternative states. She lives in Sweden where she has realised several important commissions. Gyllenhammar has recently taken part in a major exhibition in Washington DC and Austria as well as in the International sculpture festival at Boras