Florentine


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With hand-sewn costumes and elaborate sets, Helena Blomqvist (b. 1975, Sweden) creates a fantasty world starring Florentine, a former ballerina from the 19th century. Florentine, now an aged ballerina with withered skin and grey hair, takes centre stage of this work, amidst a company of performing mice, dogs and wild animals. Blomqvist has crafted a playful, whimsical world to relay complex themes of time and loss.

With manipulated colour and lighting, the images seem to weave in and out of different time periods. The diverse images are nostalgic enough to make one feel like they’re from Florentine’s memory, but their fantastical and bizarre nature often blur what might be real for her, and what might be merely her romantic visions.

As Florentine reclines on a Freudian divan in the midst of peeling wallpaper and cracked paint, the surroundings seem to reflect both her antiquity and her deteriorating state of mind. Blomqvist plays with truth and fiction, taking you into the mind of Florentine where the lines between imagination, reality and dreams are faded, if not altogether fractured

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