05 Jan 22

20 Artists for 20 Years: Ulf Pedersen

Image of Ulf Pederson - Sound UK's Reflect project. Photo by Emily Whitfield

Continuing our interview series, celebrating 20 artists for Sound UK's first 20 years, we recently caught up with internationally acclaimed artist, Ulf Pedersen.

Architectural in scale, Pedersen’s work transforms the act of looking into a physical experience. Through a kind of light-based alchemy, outdoor spaces metamorphose into something unique and magical.

What do you remember about the projects we’ve done together? And what was your most memorable experience?

Well both had their hilarious moments - but in Bude for Reflect, watching the fierce swell of the Atlantic Ocean come crashing towards the sea walls as we hastily retreated with our equipment to the safety of higher ground. And squashing into a beach hut along with 10 other volunteers to sing a sea shanty rhyme - haven’t laughed so much in ages!

Did these projects help to develop your creative practice at all? If so, how?

I guess my experience with direct public engagement, working with selected candidates with mental health issues, to learn of their terrific positivity, which informed the final piece, was a great lesson for me.

What have you been up to recently?

Well after a 2 year (Covid) hiatus, I am delighted to be back in 'the field’ doing what I enjoy most.

I’ve recently returned from Paisley, in Scotland, where I worked on a new light festival there. And more recently I had a solo show at a medieval site in Gloucester, which was well received. Having worked on the planning for 2 years and had 3 postponed attempts at staging this - it was a welcome relief to finally do the installation.

In 2021 Sound UK launched a new artist development programme to help develop and test ambitious creative ideas. How important do you think initiatives like this are and the work Sound UK does commissioning artists?

These types of commissions are essential for young, up & coming artists to realise their projects. Often with us creatives, the whole funding element can create a huge barrier in progressing our ideas, which is where Sound UK fill that role perfectly.

What role can a producer like Sound UK play in helping artists to realise their potential?

I found working with Sound UK to be more than simply a commissioner; they are involved ‘hands-on’ from start to finish, offering mentoring along the way.

What does the coming year have in store for you? What are your future plans?

Well the unexpected 'time-out' has given me a great deal of time to look at a number of new ideas for projects. There’s a few smaller, local projects I’m planning for the early part of 2022, with a view to producing more solo shows in gardens throughout the UK.

Visit Ulf Pederson's website to find out more about his work.

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