Nygårds Karin Bengtsson (born in Mora, Sweden, 1972) works with staged photography. She has a background studying both theatre and documentary photography before entering art school; University of Art and Design (Aalto University), Helsinki, Finland, from where she holds a Master of Fine Arts (2003).
Her background is visible in her photographic works, the theatrical and the ordinary take place side by side, fiction and reality is interwoven with each other. Staging as a method of working with photography is for her a means of making a moment more intense; to rather capture the experience of what has happened than the happening itself.
Her work has been shown at Fotografiska (Photography Museum), Stockholm, Malmö Art Museum and Eskilstuna Art Museum, Sweden among many others. She has received several grants and was 2010 awarded “The Choice of the Jury”; the best work in show for her work “Deer Room” at Vårsalongen, Liljevalchs Konsthall (Liljevalchs Art Gallery), Stockholm. Her work is represented in the collections of Malmö Art Museum, Stockholm Konst (Stockholm Art) and The National Public Art Council. She lives and works in Höganäs, south of Sweden.
A lonely person in a room or a landscape characterizes Nygårds Karin Bengtsson’s photographic works. There are no answers to who the persons are, where they are or what will happen or has happened. Nygårds Karin Bengtsson stages a state of mind, which she depicts with the camera.
The “mis en scene” is carefully considered and constructed: the artist herself is in charge of the direction, set design, casting, costumes, props and above all the lighting. Yet the result is the removal of information instead of adding it to the picture. What remains is a kind of intermediate picture between a Still Life and a Film Still.
With references to art history, in particularly Scandinavian painting from the last century, such as the works from Vilhelm Hammershøi and Edvard Munch, Nygårds Karin transforms an ongoing dialogue with the past to the present. Melancholia and spatiality is investigated in her pictorial world.
Nygårds Karin Bengtsson’s work revolves around timeless issues: Man's relation to time and space, fact and fiction, memory and vision. Her staged photographs are in the state before and after the drama, where the drama itself is located in the viewer's perception of the image.