Ragna Bley

Soft Stroke

Ragna Bley is interested in how form and color can be in movement, almost like a living chemical process. At a distance, Bley’s work may create associations to a wave or a cloud of smoke —two phenomena that change character as they encounter wind or weather. On approaching, the many layers of color become more visible, resembling a monumental stylized brushstroke. The word stroke plays on the motion of passing over something —as in a caress or the stroke of a brush. The work aserts itself as form on the tall, slender wall, while it also retains an ephemeral quality. Bley’s artistic process is simultaneously open and controlled. In past works, the artist has sought to make the paint an active partner in the creative process, preparing white canvases with pigments and leaving them outside to finish themselves with the help of the rain. For Soft Stroke the artist has carefully selected colors like orange, dark blue, and light green that will be receptive to the shifting environment of direct sunlight or cloudy skies over Smedelundsgade. Time will do the rest, for like all outdoor art this work will age and fade over time, continuing to change long after Bley puts away her brush.

b. 1986 in Uppsala, Sweden, lives and works in Oslo, Norway.