photo: William Thalbitzer, by kind permission of Arktisk Institut, Denmark ©

L i g h t o f t h e N o r t h
b y J o h a n L i n t o n
f o r K Ä L L E M O

ARCTIC by Johan Linton
Cabinet in anodized aluminium, doors with parchment, fiberoptics, bone
Height 160 cm, width 90 cm, depth 33 cm
Limited edition

In his new piece of furniture for Källemo Johan Linton wanted to explore qualities of his homeland – the North. What particularly moved him in relation to the North was the light and landscape. He got the idea to make a kind of container that could be seen to hold and offer these qualities. The purest and strongest image that then appeared to him was the Arctic. Also, tales of the Arctic had followed him from his childhood – his grandfather’s grandfather being the explorer and paleobotanist, professor Alfred Gabriel Nathorst, who lead an expedition in the Arctic Ocean in the summers of 1898 and 1899.

Johan Linton began to study Eskimo objects and tried to •nd materials re•ecting his sentiment for the large enigmatic land of ice and snow in the far North. He found Eskimo design very pragmatic, direct and open to new and unexpected in•uences in the pursuit of purpose and function. For the structure he chose anodized aluminium, a simple, hard material from the modern world that could be seen as a corresponding replacement of materials like bone or driftwood. To •lter the light and cover the interior of the cabinet he chose parchment – an ancient material comparable to the skin and intestine used by the Eskimos, and associated with the transfer of human culture through time.

The way Johan Linton approaches the design process is deeply personal. He has formerly made objects for Källemo characterized by his interest for the Latin; a recliner inspired by the Italian baroque painter Caravaggio; an easy chair as homage to the French philosopher Jacques Derrida; different chairs translating the mood in the •lm Jour de fête by the French director Jacques Tati. In a time when the designworld mostly centres around the trend of the season such an attitude is relieving and re•ects Källemo’s deep engagement in the immaterial qualities of furniture.

Eskimo use of drill; specimen from narwhal and reindeer. Illustration from Alfred Gabriel Nathorst, Två somrar i Norra Ishafvet. Stockholm: Beijer, 1900.


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