Sunday Edit: Winter Poems by Kristine Hellesøe
This year's Christmas print is a collaboration between graphic and visual artist Kristine Hellesøe and Rudolph Care founder Andrea Elisabeth Rudolph. It’s called Winter Poems and takes its cues from the ephemeral beauty and vulnerability of the Nordic winter.
On this page you’ll find all Kristine Hellesøes thoughts on the Winter Poem print, crafts and winter fascination.
Love for winter and the north
Kristine Hellesøe understands where her urge to create comes from. Creative curiosity and artistic expression go back generations: her resilient foremothers with industrious hands turned to crafting when winter’s cold and darkness descended upon the open landscape of Southern Jutland. Perhaps this is precisely why winter holds such special place in Kristine’s heart—and why the task of creating the print for this year's Rudolph Care gift boxes and limited editions made perfect sense when Andrea recounted her love for winter, the north, and the contrasting fragility and power within the trees and their leaves, their many layers and how they lightly and poetically age with grace.
"I have allowed the paper and its many layers to act as an ode to winter"
"The print has a poetic expression with clear references to snow, frost and winter magic. It expresses both my own design language and Andrea's thoughts on the wild Nordic winter landscape and the contrast in the fragility of ice and snow. Winter is magical to me. Light and shadow, the dignified decay of nature, the weight of the darkness and the crisp light when the sun breaks through the clouds to sharpen the senses. We wanted to capture that and give it a poetic expression, perfectly expressed through intricate papercuttings. That is why I have called the print Winter Poems. I have allowed the paper and its many layers to act as an ode to winter," notes Kristine.
Paper in all its forms has always fascinated Kristine. As a material, but also as an age-old method of transporting words and meanings between people. As an artist, Kristine is forever inspired by the endless forms and possibilities that paper offers. Over the years she has developed her own techniques for embossing paper, lending it a three-dimensional appearance.
“I love paper. The feel of it, the smell of it. Whether flipping through a book or visiting craftspeople I collaborate with, paper inspires me to create. I go into an almost meditative state when working with the most intricate of papercuttings. The fragility of each piece forces me to focus. Everything else fades into the background as I work the scissors and the paper," says Kristine and adds, "That’s what I love most about my practice: one day I am alone—quiet, introverted and focused – and the next I am on the floor of the workshop using watercolors to create depth in my expression. Other times I engage with skilled printers and craftspeople to discuss techniques and effects, always based on the properties of the paper. Paper is a magical material. In the wintry Rudolph Care print I have worked with many different techniques: layer upon layer of watercolors, white papercuttings, embossed scraps, torn paper and a touch of gold. I have gone through the entire range of emotions and have worked in so many ways to achieve the final look.”
"I have tried to capture and convey shapes, light and shadow"
Winter is a special season for Kristine Hellesøe. It awakens her desire to settle deep in the forest, to take in the silence and the shapes of the landscape. The bare, unconcealed nature and the snow's soft blanket over the terrain. The peace and quiet, which to Kristine feels especially safe in winter. And not least the supernatural beauty of the Northern Lights—if you are lucky enough to see them on a clear winter's night.
"I have lived in Greenland and loved the winter nights there. I have tried to capture and convey shapes, light and shadow. At the same time, I have incorporated the transient expression of the magical Northern Lights into the print with a beautiful green hue. It’s a tangible illustration of the poetic break from routine that winter symbolizes,” she says.
“It’s always exciting to understand and convey visually the experiences and mental images of another. Andrea and I share the same childlike joy and fascination with the beauty and small miracles of the winter landscape. Far away from the city lights. Deep inside the calm. At the same time, our winters are threatened by climate change: the beauty of the season and its natural decay are under threat. Andrea and I agree on that, too. We must safeguard our seasons and pay tribute to them. To that end, the print is a poem; a tribute to winter in all its bare beauty.”
Discover Kristine Hellesøe's beautiful print as packaging on a selection of winter products below.
Kristine Hellesøe has a master's degree in Art History from the University of Copenhagen and a visual arts teaching certificate from Blaagaard/KDAS. Explore her universe at kristinehellesoe.dk, on Instagram and on Facebook.