state of in between

In his simplified, monochrome drawings of interiors, houses and animals, Morten Schelde tells his stories. They are often in an in-between state – not unpleasant, but also not inviting, not aggressive, neither friendly. In this state, the artist finds a kind of freedom.

As a young man, Morten Schelde painted, but one day he changed the easel to a desk, the brush to a pencil, and suddenly something happened. It was like slowing down; making a drawing takes a long time and it suited Morten Schelde's way of working. Since then, drawing has been his main means of expression. Therefore, lithography also suits him perfectly – he just swaps the paper for a stone or drawing film when making his editions.

House on the hill drawn on the lithographic stone

The houses have become something of a signature work for Schelde, already at the art school he worked with a series of houses from his hometown.

- I imagine that something is happening inside the houses, which we cannot fully imagine. When I look at a house, I think about everything that takes place inside. All the birth, death, love and fulfillment of dreams. General things, but moments of great importance to the individual.

House on the hill has, just like many of Schelde's houses, a slightly ghostly, enigmatic air. The title is borrowed from a classic horror film.

- I am drawn to mysterious houses like this. I saw it on a trip in Skagen, where it is located in the far north, as the country's northernmost, outermost house. The house was built at the beginning of the 20th century, and the architecture is inspired by a Swiss cuckoo clock. The house was re-built and used by the Germans during the war. Now it functions as a summer house.

The end of dinosaurs/The Bird Connection during the printing session at Hjørring Grafisk Værksted

In addition to houses, animals often figure in Morten Schelde's visual world. They are "totem animals" and often symbolize something else.

- As humans, we project ourselves onto these animals. In the pictures, the animals transform into something in us, in which we can reflect ourselves.

The title of the owl lithograph, The end of dinosaurs/The Bird Connection, refers to the scientific research that has shown that birds are descended from dinosaurs. There is a reference here to the famous Twin Peaks quote "The owls are not what they seem" but also to a larger context where the artist wants to highlight the mysterious and symbolic.

Morten Schelde signing Asleep at sea and The end of dinosaurs/The Bird Connection

In Asleep at Sea, a sleeping woman is depicted, and around her the quilt turns into a sea with a sailing ship. A typical Morten Schelde image, where dreams and waking, subconscious and conscious, the fantastic and the down-to-earth are joined together.

See all works by Morten Schelde here

Some of Morten Schelde's quotes are taken from an interview with Mads Damsbo in the book Tegningens alfabet

The lithographs have been printed at Hjørring Grafisk Værksted, one of Denmark's leading lithographic workshops.