The exhibition Metal Endeavours presents this year’s graduate students from Steneby Metal Art at HDK-Valand of University of Gothenburg, with remarkable works sprung from a strong love for metal and artistic creation.

It is a multifaceted group of metal artists who have come from Jordan, Austria, Scotland, Finland, Italy and Sweden to explore their artistic expression in the material of metal. These artists are of varying backgrounds – ranging from the classical arts, to jewellery art and traditional blacksmithing – but have all found their individual voices which are clearly expressed in the best works from their respective graduation projects.

The resulting exhibition features a striking collection of works, completed against all odds. As the last term was demolished by Covid-19, the students quickly lost access to the school’s metal workshop, which for material-based artists is a fundamental platform to work. A couple of these artists rented workspaces in private workshops while others worked around the clock during the few days when access was given to the large and well-equipped workshop of Steneby Metal Art.

The exhibition Metal Endeavours gauges the current state of contemporary metal art and shows how HDK-Valand Academy of Art and Design is at the absolute forefront of training tomorrow’s metal artists.



Sculpture, ”Carving Steel”, steel.

As a virtuoso in blacksmithing, Arttu Halkosaari knows how to carve iron as if it was the softest butter. The forms of his sculptures are inspired by the cycle of nature – where once budding organisms eventually wither and die. Halkosaari creates textures in the steel and even gouges out sections of his works using a plasma cutter. The cutter produces an electric arc which melts steel, and then high-pressure air blasts the molten steel away. The differently textured surfaces are both soft and rough, but never sharp, and the metal pieces call for perception and touch. His work actually encourages physical interaction between sculpture and viewer.


“It is with great pride that I watch this group of international students transform into colleagues, and meet the Stockholm art audience for the first time at Galleri Sebastian Schildt” says Tobias Birgersson, senior lecturer of Metal Art at HDK-Valand Academy of Art and Design at Gothenburg University. 



Sculpture, ”Transition”, forged iron.

Scottish artist Daniel Freyne is a trained blacksmith with full command of his material. His work is an homage to the foundations of blacksmithing, yet also a deliberate break from this – demonstrating the vast potential of iron as a contemporary artistic media.

Both in terms of form and delicateness, there is clear allusion to ceramics here and Freyne strives for the viewers to ask themselves what they are actually looking at, and in which material the sculptures are or how they have been made. 

He has applied immense pressure to his forged iron vessels to make them crack and in so doing manifests a transition; the breakdown of something strong. There is a striking contrast between the classical ceramic forms and their cracked or overtly raw and rugged surfaces.



Sculpture, ”Modus”, iron, aluminium, bronze. 

With his sculpture ”Modus”, visual artist Moe Omari returns to an ancient, archetypal form used in Arabic architecture. The key word here is “Muqarnas” referring to the frequently occurring stalactite vault in mosques and palaces, with hexagonal shapes based on repetition and harmony. These geometrical patterns are everywhere, both in Mother Nature’s creations and in man-made formations; rhythmically regulating form and space. Omari’s sculptures are introduced as ornamental patterns that can be installed in an endless array of compositions.



Sculpture, ”Fall i huk, res med bug”, copper. 

With a background in performance art, visual artist Johanna Gustafsson makes a point of involving the act of movement while it is happening in her sculptural works. The ambiguous form of her sculptural explorations is reminiscent of the interplay between the dancer’s and choreographer’s  rhythm and body.



Sculpture, ”Metalmorphosis”, patinated copper.

With a background in jewellery art and design, Silvia Corti creates sculptural installations with a strong visual impact and cosmic beauty. Her work often consists of organic, circular shapes in metal with alluring patinated surfaces.

Corti’s series is titled “Metalmorphosis” and includes discs in copper and aluminium which have been covered in chemical mixtures to create vibrantly coloured, textured layers. Her interest lies in the alchemical interaction between different materials and these pieces symbolize the transition of being.



Sculpture, ”Bodenlose Frechheit” and ”Untitled/Red”, enamelled steel.

Johannes Postlmayr is a metal artist and blacksmith. His mechanical approach to metal work is reminiscent of that of the engineer and his work is strongly anchored in materiality – using the full potential of the metal but also pushing its boundaries.

Postlmayr examines the evolution of enamelled steel, once commonly used in domestic kitchenware before the rise of stainless steel, and wishes to shift this material from functionalism to a medium of artistic expression. His modern sculptures reference the domestic past of the material but the traditional vessel form has been transformed into a laser-cut construction with an artistic expression enhanced by the lead-rich enamel.



Sculpture, ”Abode – Memories from Houses”, aluminium, bronze.

Over the last two decades, visual artist Carina Fogde has been an established painter. Recently she also started to feel a strong pull towards expressing herself in three-dimensional art and hence decided to apply to the Metal Art programme at HDK-Valand. With love and personal ties to different kinds of homes, Fogde has created a series of houses with enigmatically closed and sculptural bodies.