Nina Wedberg Thulin | The Source

THE SOURCE Project Installation

During her international residency at the Comox Valley Art Gallery, interdisciplinary artist Nina Wedberg Thulin (Stockholm, Sweden) carried all her ‘questions from former works’ while becoming ‘a beginner starting from zero’.

The Source incorporates new work developed in response to her encounters of the outdoor spaces around the gallery. In her artist talk, Nina spoke about the night time vacant and winter-dark streets, those who are unhoused taking shelter in alcove spaces, and of the wild rabbits foraging for food in the urban terrain. These observances inspired her new papier mache works: a cloaked figure carrying a portable TV with a looping video; and the other – multiples of rabbits coming through the door to inhabit the gallery space.

Also placed within the presentation space are works that the artist developed in Sweden: a series of photographs that show ridges of mountains and extruded clay, a series of cast hands piled in the gesture of a common game, and an ice book with the phrase –


EVERYBODY                       …NOW?

– that melts into a jumble of confused letters each day.

The Source project installation incorporates works from the past and present, pulls the distant places of their creation together intermingling orientation to place, and questions the universality of lived experience.

The artist invites the community to participate in her project in its final days by sharing a moment of happiness with a single sentence or word.

Contributors can personally email their words to Nina at

Artist Comment:

This is a short report of my residency in Courtney, Vancouver Island titled, The Source. I decided when coming to Vancouver Island that I would take in the surroundings of Comox Valley, the artist community and people in general. The question for me was how would my way of working be affected in a foreign country; would my thinking and works be different? What is The Source of creativity and many other questions not only related to the arts came up to the surface.

On my first day in Courtney, I went for an evening walk and found the streets dark and empty. That´s when a rabbit crossed the street, I was not alone. Before I knew it, they were all over and everywhere. The rabbits gave me a feeling of comfort and made me happy. I decided to open the gallery door for the rabbits and started making them in papier-mâché. 21 rabbits was the number, a magic number seen from a mathematical point of view but I only got to make 18.

Moments of happiness is a project included where visitors could write a personal note in response to the question: what is a moment of happiness for you? Every rabbit carries one happy moment – just as they appeared to me in the dark.

The standing figure came in the door with the rabbits…

Visitors to the gallery told me many things. They saw a messenger in the figure, someone from outer space, a holy person with covered head and a homeless person with hoodie. The sculpture was referred to as both a he, she and all. One visitor told me about the significance of rabbits, what it symbolizes for indigenous people and The Red Dress project. Examples of what rabbits can symbolize is fertility, rainfall, prosperity and lighthearted tricksters. The sculpture is shown as it was by the end of the residency, still not finished. 

I could have continued to work with the surface, form and color. 

Many meetings and dialogues with all ages of people has been an inspiring part of my stay. 

I always thought I can only work in my Stockholm studio, now that was contradicted! Working in a foreign land even increased my work focus. I was amazed by the effect the total focus over many weeks had on me and my thinking. The residency has given me a unique possibility to work long days with my art and gave me the time to again define and strengthen myself as an artist, even though there is not one clear answer to the question of what is the source of new ideas and creativity and it might be good that´s the case.

– Nina Wedberg Thulin | March, 2023

NINA WEDBERG THULIN | b.1955, Stockholm, Sweden

American contemporary art, the music scene with John Cage, Merce Cunningham, and others opened new doors for Nina as she attended San Francisco Art institute as a fellow. She painted big abstract acrylic paintings. Back in Europe studying art history, Joseph Beuys’ work got her absolute attention and interest; she then wrote to Das Freie Universität, read everything within reach, and travelled in his footsteps. Finally, the travels led to Beuys’ studio in Düsseldorf, and a meeting took place. Nina made her debut exhibiting in Japan, moved towards working more with sculpture, made a couple of trips to Beijing, and worked with bronze, fibreglass, and stainless steel. In her artistic practice, Nina does installations: sculpture, painting, film, sound, and combinations of these. Alongside art, she has worked with theatre and opera, and freelanced as a film editor. This is all part of her toolbox.

The Source project installation is part of the OPEN ⋮ REALITY convergent program at the Comox Valley Art Gallery

Images: by Taylor Robinson


Curator, Abir Boukhari | AllArtNow Lab | Stockholm – artist’s introduction to CVAG curators

The Swedish Arts Council – artist’s travel