Berit Wilkmar, born in 1947 in Gothenburg, Sweden. Active Artist, since 1974, best known for her artwork ”Ytspänning”/”Surface Tension” a crocheted climbing net, which grew organically from 2013 - 2017. Co-Founder and Creative Curator at Björkhaga Garden Gallery. An art gallery, store, café, bar, concert stage, small farm, and garden-Forrest, where all the creative activity takes place in the most magical surroundings. The audience and visitors are invited to let go of all that is and enter their own imaginary world. A playful ground for all.
One of the main pillars of the gallery is to utilize the space offered by nature around them. Another is to use recycled materials as much as possible. The third leg is to create an experience where visitors, young and old, are included, and get to know and touch the art, both physically and visually. The fourth leg is the multidimensional experience in the room and in the presence – indulged with the smell, sound - the sonic therapy waves.
Life inspires. Nature, a piece of music, poetry, dance, the forest, and space in between the leaves where the little people and elves show themselves – as much as theology and contemporary art and politics, surrounding society, people, and our different paths. To travel. The pure joy and excitement of seeing new places – meeting new faces. That inspires!
In the 1960-s Berit, dressed out as a man, drove alone through Afghanistan heading to India where she stayed for some time. Back in Europe again - she hitchhiked from Hungary to Greece with a traveling Romani community. During the 1970-s Berit lived in both Nepal and Turkey.1970 – 1990 Berit lived in Sweden, became a mother, active artist, art teacher for children in Swedish primary school, and for adults at Swedish evening art courses. 1999 she left Sweden for Mexico, Tepoztlàn, and found herself spending a year living with an art collective – studying mural painting. Berits’ love
for her family brought her back home to Sweden. Her grandchildren awakened her playfulness. After seeing Toshiko MacAdams’ artwork she got inspired. She contacted Toshiko MacAdam to ask for her permission to crochet her grandchildren their own play-crochet-net, their own tensioned surface. She got thumbs up from MacAdams!
”Ytspänning”, Berit's most famous artwork, is a Surfaced Tension initiated in 2013. A series of many crocheted pieces creating one combined area. Ytspänning received a lot of MEDIA, created hype around Björkhaga Trädgårdsgalleri and took Berit on tour, booked for festivals to create decorations & play-areas.
Fast forward from 2013 and four years later of touring around with the crocheted artwork – to a day in September 2017 and Berit suddenly expresses: ”Now we are done crocheting!”. And then she took off to Spain.
Two months later she arrives back to Sweden where her daughter Anna Wilkmar welcomes here with their Björkhaga Garden Gallery decorated with crocheted hammocks. And so – it continued – It soon became another hammock and another.
Björkhaga Garden Gallery is now well known in Sweden for its crocheted art craft, steadily booked at huge art-and other festivals. ”Cykelfamiljen/The Bike Family” is the latest edition – a crocheted art installation with a ladybike, a malebike and two childbikes. ”Cykelfamiljen/The Bike Family” tours around in different towns in Sweden – bringing joy and engagement in the spaces between the urban conrete jungle blocks.
During 2020 pandemic Berit has spend a lot of time in her studio finding most joy when using the medium of acrylic on canvas and paper to express herself.
Art by Berit Wilkmar is abstract - often seen as intelligent, playful, colorful, humouristic, with subtle undertones of questions to society – entailing everything from contemporary politics to folklore fairy tales. Always with a flirt to nature, womanhood, dance and music.