Mia Damberg (b. 1958), known as a textile artist, has always observed the emotional realm of the individual in her work. Her main focal points have included differences and conflicts between the sexes, sexual power, power dynamics within families and romantic relationships, the presence of parents in the lives of children and young people, and shame as well as taboos and other fears. Her art calls attention to these themes through photography series, video pieces and installations.
Mia Damberg does not render scientific facts about human life, but rather integrates landscapes and moods into her visual stories in order to convey social experiences. This, partially subconscious, working process entails the artist’s own crossing of personal boundaries – which is characteristic of Damberg’s way of working – and she adapts elements from literature, the media and, in particular, film.
“I communicate things to others through my own feelings, fears and notions of shame. Our needs are the same, even though our perspectives are different. My images give life to a contemporary universal human being who is faced with joys and hardship.”
Mia Damberg’s earlier work as an investigative artist aimed at depicting the good and the bad woman. She has now shifted her focus to functional and dysfunctional aspects of family. She addresses the myth of the good parent, the parent’s omnipotence in relation to the child, the emotional world of the child and ways in which children interpret the adult world. Her themes include memories, social roles and shame related to certain situations.
Damberg studies behavioural patterns that are passed on from generation to generation in her large- and small scale photography, as well as in her video pieces and installations. The strength of the works lies in their ability to inspire reflection and encourage discussion about values. Even though the artist is occasionally the subject of her own pictures, she has increasingly started using other people as emblematic of the human being in her rooms and environments. She also creates rooms which the observer can enter. The body never lies, nor does it forget. Damberg’s installations convey the intimate and heavy atmosphere of the photographs, and memories that have lingered since childhood become tangible.
Pamela Andersson, curator