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Her mother is one of Sweden's most popular artists. But Dina Isæus-Berlin is dead cool and relaxed. Her confidence shows that she is ready to unveil her graduation show at Konstfack and enter the professional art scene.

4 min read

Except for the café by the entrance of Konstfack at Telefonplan in Stockholm we are also greeted by a large exhibition space called the White Sea. Right now, this space is occupied by 8 dazzling abstract artworks by the artist Dina Isæus-Berlin. It's her BFA exhibition at which she is searching within the act of painting for something she calls the Event.

Dina Isæus-Berlin grew up around art but it was as late as in her early twenties before she started to paint. And it was not until art history class that she realised that she had to practice art herself to fully understand it.

Who is Dina Isæus-Berlin?

I’m an artist born and raised in in Stockholm, where I currently do degree in fine art at Konstfack’s - graduating this spring.

Tell us about your show at Konstfack?

In “Morning Dew on the Field of Surrender” I’m showing seven large-scale oil paintings and one sculpture. In my recent work I have pushed myself to gestural freedom, in search for something I call the Event. A painting can look however, as long as an Event has occurred. 

These painting have been done in two different steps or ways of working - first I paint fast and intuitive until the Event take place- if it does. Then more a slow, analytic way of painting takes over. How can I care for or maybe comment this particular Event? 

But what is ”the Event”?

The Event is a feeling of a sudden refresh, a sense of surprise, an exhale. When it happens it feels like the world is new again. It’s an unexpected jump in the doing and responding which is the act of painting. 

How did you get into the art world? Was there a pivotal moment when you decided to follow your path as an artist?

Naturally, the art world has always been present to me because of my mother. I decided to give it a go whilst studying art history in Uppsala. I felt it would be impossible for me to fully understand art if I didn’t practice it myself. I couldn’t just read about it, I had to do it!

What is your daily routine when working? 

My daily routine is quite varied. If I don’t feel like painting I don’t do it, instead I write, visit an exhibition or do something completely different. I try to paint only in the right moments.

Have you ever had a moment when you questioned your entire career? 

I have moments when I wonder how it will work out, but I’ve never regretted the decision to become an artist.

Your mother is a famous artist. Is it only positive or negative? 

It’s both of course! But honestly most positive. She showed me that it’s possible to become an artist. And its such a luxury to be able to have a studio talk with you mum.

What is your plan after graduating this summer?

First of all, getting a studio! Then I’m going to travel around Japan for some months. I’ve been interested in Japanese religion and philosophy for a long time and its time to really pursue those interests.

What is your greatest indulgence in life?

It’s the decision to become an artist!

What does your art diet consist of?

I try to see a lot of exhibitions, but I think other, more unexpected things can also be rewarding for your art. Practicing aikido for example, have actually been a way for me to understand art-making.

How would you define beauty?

I would like to quote Agnes Martin on that question: “When a beautiful rose dies, beauty does not die because it is not really in the rose. Beauty is an awareness in the mind.”