The Maker « Reflections | Holster Fine Art


The powerful way symbols influence us through intuitive associations is fascinating. To me, art and artefacts from our history are sacred because of the unique way they convey and inspire narratives of human passion and insight. Even today, echoes of ancient myths can be found in the tales we tell to make sense of ourselves, our world and our place in it. In stories of the divine we may recognize our personal achievements and shortcomings, but elevated from the individual to something that is humanly universal. The sword is an especially potent vehicle of expression of these abstract ideas because of the powerful way it reflects the paradoxes of the human condition. When we discover and recognize aspects of ourselves in such objects of power, time is no longer a measure of distance, but rather a gauge of connection and continuity.

While symbols can spark new understanding by leaps of imagination, geometry works as a focusing lens for the mind. Through its unbending rules, we relate to objective, absolute aspects of reality. Geometry can also provide a helpful structure in creative work that otherwise may lose its impetus and impact in a labyrinth of endless creative possibilities. Geometry also has deep roots in history, and its shapes and applications have yielded its own mythology and symbolism over time. There is, however, a time-less quality to geometry that is to me even more inspiring. It can show the way to an austere and precisely defined harmony of form that speaks to us on a subconscious level.

Much of my work is born through the play between free imagination and formal construction. This has been especially true for the project Reflections – Dedication to the Goddess. Mythology and geometry make for an evocative combination that invites storytelling and interpretation. To me the sword is an archetype and a physical manifestation of our mind. As an icon for truth, it represents our courage to act on our convictions and our strength to face rigours and challenges. Its nature as a weapon is also a warning that every action we take will always come with unforeseen and unwanted consequences. I imagine that in the forest of our hearts, there hovers a sword over the reflective surface of a deep pool. It is there for us when we need it, but we must always be mindful when we use it. The Reflections project is an exploration of a mythology of the sword. The stories I tell are personal reflections but they are not the only possible images to be found. I invite you to look at the sword, not as an ancient artefact that belongs to times long past, but as an object that even today may inspire contemplation and reward our attention with insight.


Dedication to the Goddess
by Peter Johnsson

Peter Johnson is a world renowned swordsmith and one of the most influential artists working in this medium today. Peter’s work is informed by his profound knowledge of the ancient craft of sword making. This knowledge was wrought  from decades of extensive research and documentation of artifacts from the bronze age to the early renaissance in museums across Europe and the United States. The origins of many of the recurring themes present in his work today rise from this passion for history and archeology. 

 Peter was born in 1965 into a creative household in Uppsala, Sweden. His father, an accomplished sculptor, introduced Peter to the discipline and techniques of a craftsman and nurtured his budding talent. Between 1985 and 1989 Peter pursued a Masters Degree from University of Arts, Craft and Design in Stockholm. Upon receiving his Masters, he began a decade long career as a professional illustrator and graphic designer. In 1999 Peter continued his training and completed a BA in decorative metalwork at Stenebyskolan  Academy of Design and Crafts, University of Gothemburg. Over the course of the last 20 years Peter has worked internationally as artist and exhibition curator. His reconstructions of historical swords, edged tools and weapons are on display in European museums and private collections. 

Brett Holster

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