Kugelbaum, Kulparksskolan primary school, Stångby, 2012
Carl Boutard addresses the perhaps oldest and most over-exploited issue in art, its relation to nature. Yet he avoids, in a most natural way, some approaches to creation typical of the art-and-nature complex: imitation, stylisation, abstraction. Facing nature as a collector, Boutard regards a forest or a field not as a site of wonder and beauty, but as a storage facility for components that can be taken apart and put back together. Seed capsules, rinds and peels of various fruits, twigs or nuts help him create forms that can be cut and twisted and recomposed. Boutard subjects nature’s own forms to copying, combination and montage, much like a poet reconfigures existing words into new meaning. For the Kulparksskolan primary school in Stångby Boutard has made the sculpture Kugelbaum, the ‘bullet tree’. (The school’s name can be read as ‘Bullet Park School’ in Swedish.) Branches, seed capsules and acorn shells come together as a new tree that belongs to nature just as much as to the artist’s mind. In the original smallscale model we easily recognise the constituent natural elements. Acorn shells have become funnels and seed capsules appear as nice little packages. Yet something changes with the enlargement. The branches and seeds enter into new dimensions – a shift in scale reminiscent of fairy tale illustrations. The acorn funnels make us think of even more contemporary phenomena, such as satellite dishes on the balconies of highrise buildings. The discs in the bullet tree appear to be quietly surveying their surroundings. Carl Boutard, born in 1975 in Kiruna. Lives and works in Malmö. Studies at the Shool of Art and Crafts in Reykjavik 2001–2004, at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm in 2005 and at the Malmö Art Academy 2005–2007.