Q&A: Kånken Art ‘22 by Tekla

Q&A
Kånken Art ‘22 by Tekla

Kånken Art happens when renowned artists, like Tekla Evelina Severin, express their relationship to nature while using Kånken as their canvas.

For the 2022 edition of Kånken Art, Fjällräven teamed up with Swedish colourist, multi-disciplinary designer and photographer Tekla Evelina Severin. Working with various materials and media, including textiles, installations and imagery, colour is always her starting point. As she says, “Colour is fundamental to everything I do, and I’m forever fascinated by its strong power. Colour is never absolute, and its meaning changes relative to what you put next to it.” Delve into the thinking and the process behind her Kånken Art ‘22 design Free Horizon.

How did you approach the project Kånken Art ‘22? 

I started like I always do: with an analysis and visual deconstruction. First, of nature itself and my relationship with it. I’m an outdoor enthusiast in the sense that I appreciate spending time in nature for relaxation, walking, and wondering. Also for getting inspired. Nobody does colour like nature. Then, I thought about Kånken. Especially its design. The shape, composition and details are so iconic. Throughout my lifetime, I’ve almost always had one.

What inspired you to choose the horizon theme?

The straightforward design of Kånken inspired me to seek out similar compositions in nature. I found very strong visual connections in their natural lines, pattern repetitions and symmetries. Soon enough, an idea about colour blocking in nature took shape, and I decided that I wanted to work with colour on the same scales as nature does. That’s when the horizon theme came about, because what is bigger and more splendid than a straight and open horizon line?

How did the design process unfold?

The experience combined elements that were familiar to me, as well as those that were entirely new. For example, it was both quicker and longer than I am used to. The design ideation and concept phase were pretty fast – a few weeks of backand-forth – which is typical. The product development and sample processes, however, took some months. I also regularly work between the 2D and 3D worlds to explore different ways of using colour, and this was no exception. I am, however, used to being in-control of the colour processes and this time I had to leave testing and adjustments to Fjällräven. The best part was working on an entirely new level of detail on buttons, trim and zippers. That was a dream!

Describe the collaboration between Fjällräven and yourself. 

I was first approached because of how I work visually with composition and colour as a photographer. I was delighted, because Fjällräven and I have similar values about the importance of nature. We are all a part of it and need to take strong actions to protect it. We have a shared belief that design plays a big role in product longevity and sustainability. Not just in terms of its functionality and durability, but in the timeless quality of its visual appearance. During the process I learned a lot about Fjällräven as a brand, including its heritage and vision. I also learned a lot on a practical level about product development, production timelines and colouring processes for specific materials.

What do you hope the effect will be of your Kånken Art?

I hope Kånken Art ‘22 will get people out into nature to discover all its colours, and hopefully inspire them too.