MSc landscape architecture 1983, member of the National Association of Landscape Architects (LAR, MSA) and member of the Swedish Artists’ National Organization (KRO).
Monika, born in 1959, has been working as a landscape architect and artist with her own office, GORA art&landscape, since 1989. She holds a master’s degree in landscaping from the Swedish University of Agriculture. Before starting her own office Monika Gora made prolonged travels of work and study in Australia, China, Indonesia, the Netherlands, New Zealand and the USA. In her practice she has systematically chosen her own paths – both experimenting and challenging – combining this with an ability to find practicable solutions.
Among Gora’s internationally acclaimed projects, The Glass Bubble, finished in 2006, combines several aspects of her work.
”…this has become a highlight in new Swedish architecture (and art) that I can not resist. Smartly surprising, with the simple shape of an almond (or a discus), and minimalist reserve.”
Architectural critic Peder Alton
‘Dagens Nyheter’, 26th March 2006.
The Glass Bubble was designed as a solution both to architectural dilemmas and to problems of landscaping. The space inside makes it possible to use this extremely exposed and windy place all year. The glass structure reflects light into the courtyard and protects it from the sea, without closing it visually. Conceptually The Glass Bubble is a juxtaposition of climates and floras in a place of artifice, on reclaimed land overlooking the Öresund straits between Sweden and Denmark. It welds together a multitude of inputs with simplicity and clarity.
Monika Gora often works with these seamless combinations of landscape architecture, public art and building. In her Two Piers from 2004, at Sidensjö in the north of Sweden, Gora has designed a place that underlines the beauty of the nearby lake. Simultaneously the piers leading into thin air create a sense of adventure right where they are. Initially Two Piers met a lot of local controversy. Today it is very much accepted and used. It makes place, and creates a sense of public space in a sparsely-populated area. Metamorphosis in the city of Linköping, from 2005, is a generous public sculpture that is in itself a landscape for the public to conquer. At the same time it is a play with reflections from the sky and the surrounding park.
In addition to permanent works, temporary contributions to existing environments occupy a central position in Monika Gora’s oeuvre; often indexical projects of temporary transformation – such as The Rain Fountain from 1996, continuous rain for three weeks, a local change in climate in an urban space – and interventions to environments that are threatened by monotonous routine or by being too familiar.
Some of her pieces have contained provocative elements – the Rain Fountain was met with both love and hate – but they always actively contribute to the production of new meanings, spaces and memories. In the winter of 1998, Gora temporarily transformed an almost too familiar space in the heart of Stockholm with A Drop of Light, a monumental balloon filled with artificial sunlight lying in front of the parliament building.
Parallel to working on permanent or temporary transformations of the environment, Monika Gora has been using exhibitions as a medium for multi-disciplinary expression and inquiry, both in solo and group shows such as The Good Life: New Public Spaces for Recreation (Van Alen Institute, NYC, USA 2006), Acclimatisations (Chaumont-sur-Loire, France 1994) and Monika Gora (Skissernas Museum, Lund, Sweden 1989). The different branches of Gora’s activities continuously cross-breed and serve each other. The sculpture group Jimmys was first shown at a solo exhibition in 1997, and has since become a much appreciated permanent feature in many public spaces in Sweden and abroad, combining light and color with a characteristic invitation to play.
Johanna is assisting and working closely together with Monika Gora, administrating the daily work at the studio in Malmö. In 2015 Johanna finished her bachelor’s degree in Architecture, visualization and communication at Malmö University. Her background is with both theatre and creative writing, and in 2016 she will begin a 200 hour Yoga teacher training in Lund.
Johanna has been an employee at GORA art&landscape since 2014.
text coming soon…
Johan has been an employee at GORA art&landscape since 2010.
Gunilla Bandolin is an artist and born in 1954 in Köping, Sweden. She was Professor of Art at the College University of Art, Craft and Design in Stockholm 2006-2015. Her sculptural/architectural works have been commissioned for the public realm in Sweden and abroad. She was Professor of Theoretical and Applied Aesthetics in the Landscape Architecture Department at the University of Agriculture, Alnarp, Sweden from 1995 to 2001, and was a guest professor at the Royal Academy of Technology at the School of Architecture from 2001 to 2006. She studied literature and philosophy at the University of Uppsala 1974-76, and qualified from the Journalist School in Stockholm in 1975. She was co-editor of the architecture and art magazine MaMa between 1995 and 1998, and is still active as an art and architecture critic.
Måns, born in 1963, holds a licentiate degree in Art History from Lund University, Sweden. After his BA exam and psychology studies in Oslo, he initiated his research studies, spending extended periods in Rome and at Kyoto University’s School of Architecture in the early 90’s, becoming increasingly interested in landscape architecture. After receiving his licentiate degree he started teaching at the Department of Landscape Architecture at Sweden’s Agricultural University. Parallel with his academic career Måns Holst-Ekström has pursued an active interest in contemporary art as a critic, curator, and teacher at several art academies. From 2001 to 2006 he was senior lecturer at the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm where he is still involved with the artistic research project ’Italomemes – Ideas About Italy’. After a year at GORA art&landscape he returned to Lund University’s Division of Art History and Visual Studies in 2008. Måns Holst-Ekström’s publications cover academic writing, fiction and the genres in-between, with a focus on how we relate sensorially to art, buildings and landscapes.