Ulrika Byrgge

With a background in industrial and graphic design Ulrika Byrgge unites illustration, printmaking, painting, photography and collage to produce compelling and striking surface decoration in all its forms, from custom wallpaper to prints, hangings and paintings.

Although her current passion is for screen printing, Ulrika practises a number of techniques and likes to’ mix things up. I experiment a lot and a lot of happy accidents happen. I like combining the hand drawn with Photoshop or collaging on the computer. It’s very intuitive, and I keep going…until I get that break feeling. You’re not quite there yet, and then that lifts.’ The lure of fabric as opposed to paper is the way that the’ ink sits in it. It takes a while to settle but when it does it becomes one.’ By absorbing the sound also becomes part of the space, not just a decorative add on.

Design, rather than art, always sounds slightly more removed from the feelings – less real. One rarely hears of a tortured designer. One of Ulrika’s areas of expertise is the creation of bespoke wallpapers, the hangings on the wall capturing the trappings and character for a person. Does she created work for someone else to be looked at, or is it an emptying of the soul, her presence as an artist keenly felt? ‘It’s certainly very emotive and part of me is always expressed. I find it very difficult not to say how I feel, whether I want it to or not. So it is me, but I want to share it.’ By exploring the past, sifting perceptions of the present and projecting future hopes, Ulrika’s work strikes a chord in its universal link with human experience. Take ‘Stretch’ for example, a simple illustration capturing the joy of a new day, or ‘My Perfect Life’, a snapshot of the headf*ck that trying to figure it out can be.

Ulrika is heavily influenced by her surroundings, be that the environment or activities around her. Born in Sweden, she grew up in UK, before a move back a couple of years ago, to the island of Öland. Sharp edges and blacks always find their way in when she is working in the city, whereas nature and the winter landscape is evident in softer work from time in Gothenburg. This is to be expected from someone so curious about the world, inspiration coming from ‘anything that gets my attention. Whenever I’m attracted to something, I just want to explore and capture it – I follow that urge.’
Sometimes the urge wanes, and when this happens Ulrika just has to leave it. She concedes that she works in a slightly anarchic and chaotic manner, but insists that she has to, as to not follow her urge and feeling ‘it feels like you’re contorting yourself.’

Published by Francesca Baker

Passionate about music, the world, exploring, literature and smiling. Writing, marketing and events for all my favourite things.

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