Lina Scheynius, a Swedish-born, London-based photographer, has created a beautiful and elevated visual narrative that finds a common thread between her and Tekla's visual universe, a project that stands the test of time in its creative and artistic direction. Documentary and momentary, Scheynius' work is deeply personal and surprising.
Represented in a series of images, Lina explores the nature of the relationship between light and the tactility of textiles. It is a photo story that moves beyond the demonstration of a product and rather stays as an independent focus by itself.
In your past works, you have been working with many textiles, being captivated by different shapes, textures, and tactility. What role do fabrics play in your life, and how do you project this into your artistic approach? I appreciate textiles in my work as traces of human touch. I love when you can still sense the person who touched them or wore them or slept on them. I also love that in a sheet, for example, you can find whole new landscapes and structures if you really pay attention. I started to work with my bed at the start of lockdown last year as this was my new reality, and I found that it was a much more versatile and personal subject than I had anticipated.
I think a lot of us take textiles for granted and pay little attention to how they were made or feel. The fact that so many clothes are synthetic these days, with the majority of people not objecting to that, tells me a lot about how out of balance we are. Textiles are something that is touching us all day long and at night too.
I am becoming more and more aware in my life of surrounding myself with natural textiles that feel good against the skin and that don't leek plastic into the environment.
How is your research process? I love to read books. And I enjoy seeing exhibitions or immersing myself in nature or listening to music that moves me. But most of my research is a curiosity of life and a curiosity about people and emotions and using my senses.
I love to find new ways of looking at life and relations.
Does light play an important role in your work, and how? Light is what you paint with as a photographer. I think growing up in Sweden made me appreciate light in a very deep way. The dark winters and the light summers give you a different sensibility to it. I am hugely fascinated by how light can change a situation or how we feel.
What was the inspiration behind this photo story? I wanted the beautiful linen sheets to take centre stage without that being very obvious. I wanted the photos to feel natural, warm and inviting and beautiful and have a tactility to them. I love when you look at a photograph, and it feels like you can touch what is in it or smell it. I shot them on my own in London in lockdown in my one-bedroom apartment, so my options were more limited than usual, but I think this new time is teaching me that magic is very close by if we just look for it or allow it.
What is your relationship to sleep? It's my sense that we are becoming worse at sleeping as a collective while becoming more and more aware of how important sleep is. Sleep is one of my favourite things to do, and I am usually a very good sleeper.
Getting into bed at night and just feeling like I am drifting off on a cloud is a fantastic feeling. If I start having trouble sleeping, that is a great indicator that something is off and that I need to take better care of myself.