Ulrica Hydman-Vallien (1938-2018)
Ulrica Hydman-Vallien has reached a wide public through her highly original art glass, developing during the last decade. But it was as a ceramist that she originally established her reputation as an artist with an entirely personal range of expression. Her essentially sculptural ceramic art won acclaim for the skill and affection with which it portrayed our human foibles. Simultaneously, her very special and assertive contribution to the “refined” art of pencil drawing helped to establish her as an artist to be reckoned with.
Ulrica Hydman-Vallien is an absolutely contemporary artist with roots deep in antiquity, Not for her the merely aesthetically appealing, the classically elegant. Rather, she return to the truly classical, to the use of myth as a means of expressing the unfathomable dimensions of human emotions, of the joys and tragedies of human existence.
The Swedish craft industry has a long tradition of engaging leading artists to design its products. The glass industry was not slow in recognizing Ulrica Hydman-Vallien’s talent and in seeking to persuade her to design glass. For many years she was reluctant to give up her freedom as an artist. But in time, the challenge of the task and the realization that the livelihoods of many people from the district were dependent on the glassworks being able to produce new and saleable products caused her to reconsider. And in the last decade she has produced glass for Åfors / Kosta Boda, producing not only a succession of unique works of art but also developing new techniques for crafting personalize glass on a larger scale. Like the best books, her glass, regardless of how many pieces are produced, retains the quality of being unique to the beholder – a new work of art for each new purchaser. For her ability to harness myth, to give human emotions and actions universal significance, has this quality of timelessness, of being always new. And Ulrica has succeeded in introducing an element of myth into her glass, thus making it classical in spirit, if not in form.
In recent years Ulrica Hydman-Vallien has further established her leading position in the craft industry by a series of striking designs for textile prints and carpets commissioned by Kinnasand, which is one of the leading Swedish textile manufacturers.