Ostroborthnia: Christa Friberg

07.08.2023 hrs 07:15
Christa Friberg lives and works as an artist in Jakobstad. She graduated in visual arts from Yrkeshögskolan Novia in 2021, but the path to being able to call herself a professional artist took time.

After Christa graduated, she trained as an optician in Helsinki because it was a safe choice and there are always jobs. Christa says that she tried to think sensibly and wanted to manage herself and make good financial choices. If she hadn't chosen her profession solely wisely, she would have chosen to study art and study to become a visual artist at that time already. But that had to wait a while.

Art and craft have always been in Christa's life and initially as a hobby. The older she got, the more she began to trust herself and her choices and intuitions, and at the age of 37 chose to start studying at Novia because her family moved to Jakobstad. At the same time, she applied for the visual arts program and a job as an optician and got both, but chose art studies at Novia and on that road it is.

Christa works with recycled materials in her creations and gets her inspiration from what she feels and thinks, observes and experiences in everyday life. The person and meetings inspire, experiences herself as a person and also the materials she uses drive her forward. Many people get their inspiration from nature, but Christa says that she rather gets inspiration from people’s relationship to nature and not nature itself. Humanity's paradoxical view of nature is interesting, how in thought we want to protect it while treating it the way we do. Christa is motivated by the idea and action of recycling. She talks about how anti-capitalism and anti-consumption drive her further in her creation. She finds it interesting how humans affect nature with their consumption hysteria, even though nature is highly valued. Christa talks about a sentence she read in an article about how a company marketed itself by having the goal of not actually growing and getting bigger, but were more than satisfied with the customers they had and instead wanted to take care of them. “A nice and inspiring way of thinking”, Christa says.

Right now, Christa works with embroidery, where she recycles both thread and fabric bought at flea markets and inherited, while also recycling her own life by embroidering buildings that have been important for her. She combines memories and images of the places, thought, feeling and events and embroiders them onto photos. She photographs the buildings and transfers them to fabric. Another embroidery project she has going on at the moment is that she embroiders on old photos with personal portrait motifs, even those bought at flea markets. Christa is also at the end of an apprenticeship scholarship, which she feels has been very rewarding, effective and came at the right time. In the near future she plans to have her first solo exhibition, so far she has mostly exhibited in groups. There are also plans for a project that includes collaboration with seniors in the near future.

Christa's artistic work process is slow, which can sometimes be a challenge, but also an advantage. It is important to let the work take its time and have time to digest and think in the creative process, Christa ponders. She tells how her body usually moves forward before and then the soul follows a few days later. “It takes time for me to process impressions and a slow pace and way of working suit me”, Christa tells.

She previously worked as regional contact for Konstrundan and has been a participant for two years. The best memories from Konstrundan are probably every meeting during the Konstrundan weekend. “I appreciate everyone who comes by my studio”, says Christa. She feels it is important to be able to advise on other places to visit and that it is nice to meet both new and old acquaintances, both in the context of art and e.g. people from her childhood she hasn't met in a long time. “All meetings and surprises are touching and fun”, Christa adds.

During this year's Konstrundan, you can meet Christa in her studio in the old Tullmagasinet in the center of Jakobstad, where she will display for example emboderies. She is looking forward to the fine tradition of meeting over a cup of coffee or two. Christa hopes to have visitors of all ages.

Nicole Hjelt