Cecilia Westerberg: Overwintering
13. November 2021 - 6. March 2022
Humankind has a fundamental need to connect with nature, and plants have an ability to make us feel that we belong somewhere. This idea is the starting point for the artist Cecilia Westerberg’s exhibition, “Overwintering”.
“Overwintering” is a poetic study of the intrinsic qualities of plants, whether they are edible, colourful, have healing or magical qualities, or are just aesthetically pleasing. It is also a study of what happens to plants and humans when winter sets in and the garden becomes dormant. How do we prepare the garden for winter and how does life continue when everything is dormant? How can plants connect us with the past, with specific places and how do we build relationships with plants and thus to each other through the natural world?
The world of plants has, to all intents and purposes, been brought into Bakkehuset with the exhibition “Overwintering”. At the same time, the exhibition stretches out and broadens the meaning of the natural world, which is found in Bakkehuset’s surrounding garden just outside the museum’s windows.
Cecilia Westerberg is interested in the places and spaces where plants grow, their uses over time and how they determine our modern view of nature. As much as we, modern humans, try to deny it, we are still part of the natural cycle. Westerberg’s aim and inspiration is, therefore, to examine how plants can create a connection that ties us to places and people through time.
About the artist
Cecilia Westerberg works with specific places and spaces where plants grow and in this exhibition she examines the rapport between Bakkehuset’s historical garden and with the house’s former proprietor, Kamma Rahbek. Kamma Rahbek began cultivating the ground around Bakkehuset when she and her husband bought the house in 1802.
She cultivated this large plot with equal measures of passion, practical sense and botanical knowledge. She valued the unrivalled beauty and aesthetic qualities of the flowers which became the muse and motif in many of her drawings and paintings. Cecilia Westerberg shares Kamma Rahbek’s botanical interest and scientific view of nature, as well as Kamma’s close examination of the aesthetic qualities of various plants and flowers. Westerberg works with plant colours, plant pressings, the symbolism of plants and the language and history connected to them, but she is also interested in how plants provide us with a sense of belonging.
The exhibition consists of four rooms, the first of which bear the titles “A Conversation with Kamma”, “The Garden Slumbers” and “A Conversation with Plants”. The exhibition includes Cecilia Westerberg’s “Herbarium – a Conversation with Plants” and the installation “Weeds”.
Cecilia Westerberg (b. 1967) trained as an artist at Chelsea College of Art & Design in London and has since 2000 exhibited in various places both in Denmark and abroad. Most recently she exhibited the highly successful “The Alchemist’s Laboratory”. She is inspired by, amongst other things, science, naturalism, folklore and traditional beliefs.
She is drawn to various themes and specific sites of interest and she employs different forms of expression depending on the nature of the project. Westerberg prefers projects where she can immerse herself in research sources connected to specific sites. Places where she can expand her knowledge and be inspired by actual narratives, people and locations, which can be incorporated and transformed into an aesthetic expression.