Mamma Andersson moved to Stockholm in the late spring of 1983 to study sculpture at the University College of Arts, Crafts and Design, but already after a year she realised that she would be changing direction.
“I understood early on that it was always painting that pulled me in and I guess it was primarily about the colours. Sculpturing felt a little too complicated and slow, so I applied to Gerlesborg School of Fine Art where I studied for two years before starting at the University College of Arts, Crafts and Design. I soon began working extra as a guard at the National Museums as well. Those years at Moderna Museet and the Museum of Mediterranean and Near Eastern Antiquities were very important for my development as an artist.”
During that same period, Mamma Andersson went into Svenskt Tenn’s store on Strandvägen in Stockholm for the first time. It was the beginning of a fascination that has lasted for decades.
“For some reason, Svenskt Tenn became the place that I secretly went to see the beautiful life, to get a particular kind of inspiration. I visited the store for nearly 20 years without ever buying anything because I couldn’t afford it, but that wasn’t the point of the visits,” she says.
Above all, it was Josef Frank who caught her interest; especially all of his fabrics, but Estrid Ericson also made an impression over the years.
“Josef Frank’s textiles have a boldness, playfulness and a fantastic skilfulness. For me, colour and pattern are among the basics when it comes to painting. Many painters are obsessed with textiles, which is completely natural. Henri Matisse, who collected Suzani embroidery, is one example. Estrid Ericson has interested me more and more over the years, especially her eye for the beautiful and elegant, and her ability to gather both sophisticated and simple items. She was really ahead of her time.”