THE ARTIST WHO PREFER SPUNK (Utdrag fra katalogtekst av Lars Elton)
Should art be only serious, or are you allowed to add a humoristic twist? Linda Lothe says – Yes, thank you. I prefer both.
Humour is the joy of life, but the clown’s sad face adds a tragic dimension to our laughter. Still, there is too much seriousness in art. After modernism had its breakthrough a century ago, phantasy and humour has been an underestimated measure in art. The serious bunch is in power, but Linda Jansson Lothe prefers to be included in the joyous crowd who are doing their best to lighten up life.
Therefore she might call an exhibition “Spunk” – named after the peculiar word Pippi Långstrump (Pippi Longstocking) invented. Since the gure from the Swedish children’s books, written by the author Astrid Lindgren, did not know what spunk was, Pippi went out into her village, together with her two friends Tom- my and Annika, and asked shopkeepers and people they met if they had spunk. Since nobody knew, it can be de ned – with inspiration from Pippi – as courage, or the ability to carry on with good cheer and strong heart. Spunk might also be explained like this: “When you are having a tough time learning to do some- thing, but you persist and keep coming back and trying again, this is an example of when you show spunk.”
Linda Jansson Lothe has a lot of spunk. As a Norwegian ceramist she has persisted to follow her humorous approach to art. She builds sculptures and gures that are both sweet and serious, sometimes only funny, other times quite ambiguous in the stories they tell. She is nearly always gurative in her approach, but often more surrealistic than naturalistic. And there is often a twist to what you experience: What you see on the outside might differ quite seriously from what you find on the inside.