When did you become interested in pursuing an artistic career?

I grew up thinking I would be an artist, but I didn’t start taking it seriously until my 30s.

I found a way to make a living out of it without putting too much pressure on myself.

After taking some ceramic night classes, I then did a portfolio preparation course. I then went to NCAD in my 40s.

While I was there, I mostly done ceramics, but then started experimenting with glass and bronze too.

When describing my artistic style, I’d say I’m quite material based, I like to let materials talk and I find the different opportunities available with each material that kinds of gives you a language.

It’s like learning a new language which means you can express new things.

Can you talk me through your creative process?

A good example of this would be a piece I did during COVID. I looked at the idea of being constrained in a house and experimented with a range of different shapes that mimicked containment and protection.

I then played with the materials to express different emotions.

Currently, I have a solo exhibition coming up and I am trying to nail down the concept and the vision.

What inspires you?

Looking at other people’s work can be very inspiring. A lot of my work would be looking at a concept for a means of expression to work for the concept.

I then make lots of different samples and see which fit into my thinking and which don’t fit.

I always like to throw in some technical challenges, as that keeps me on my toes. An example of this would be in 2021 when I made a piece out of square pieces of felt mainly because felt doesn’t wait to be square.

What has been the highlight of your artistic career so far?

My virus piece, which was bought by the National Museum of Ireland, was probably the highlight of my artistic career so far.

I had some reluctance in giving it to them, as I wanted to remake it to make it better, but they actually wanted the early piece.

What advice would you give to someone who is interested in pursuing an artistic career?

Find ways to show your work by looking into group exhibitions or maybe there is an art group among your county council.

You can also come together with other artists to make pop-up exhibitions. There are so many opportunities out there, so definitely take it step by step and trust in your work.

Annika is represented by the Olivia Cornet Gallery and her work can be found at https://www.oliviercornetgallery.com/annika-berglund.

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