“Where is the music from?” asked the director Ingmar Bergman once in a radio programme. In The Big Gravel-Sifter, the story of the piano that ended up under the water, August provides him with as good an answer
as any. It comes from the bottom of the sea, from the civilised and finely- tuned instrument, seemingly out of place down there in the mysterious deep that is the haunt of fishes and molluscs. A quite distinctive music originates in the swaying forest of seaweed and the strings are tuned by the stickleback’s spines. Anything can happen when August allows the fine arts to intersect with the random and unpredictable movements in an underwater symphony!
In “The Big Gravel-Sifter’s Room” the elements are uninhibitedly and wildly mixed. Walking on water is no great matter. The Wave that is depicted on the rug on the floor is also framed on the wall. Vertical or horizontal? Just let your feet choose their route. The timbre in the paint- ings may be heard in the sound of the waves of the air. A sea murmur and heavenly light, or is it perhaps a train approaching from nowhere? Rusty tones rumble, bang into one another, collide, and suddenly, as if by acci- dent, they play in harmony. Just like the accumulation of dark colours left behind by the swinging palette-knife. The painting’s sea-mark, the White Mare, is transformed into a Jacob’s ladder for the notes to climb on, or score sheets waiting to be filled with a very peculiar deep-sea song.