Drawing of people dressed as flowers

Love Me, Love Me Not © Ingela Ihrman

Ingela Ihrman

Love Me, Love Me Not, 2024

The costumes that Ingela Ihrman produces and wears are inspired by creatures and life forms in her environment. She depicts a giant water lily, a passion flower, a walking pinecone, or an oilbird feeding its chick. In her equally striking, strange and droll appearances, she offers a simple script: the flower blossoms, a baby animal is born, a fig opens. Everyone knows the story and yet it remains a pleasure to experience it in oversize, in slow motion, in an awkward setting. In her work, she repeatedly observes how we humans simultaneously romanticise and exploit nature, even though we are part of it and depend on it.

Ingela Ihrman has created two wearable sculptures for Radical Playgrounds that refer to the game He/she loves me ... he / she loves me not. People sometimes refer to this centuries- old ritual when they are desperate and confused, when nothing seems certain anymore. You pick a daisy and find out whether things will turn out favourably. For each sentence, a petal is picked and the truth is revealed when the daisy has been completely torn apart. 

Every day, two flower costumes are available to be worn both for the playworkers and for exhibition visitors. Playing always involves a certain degree of mental distance from the real world. The daisy-like costumes provide an opportunity for such re-contextualisation. By embodying a flower, one can freely express one’s own shyness, need to attract attention or communicate desires. Visitors are invited to become an all-powerful flower for a brief moment, which comes to a sad end when you play with it. More than the costumes of, say, Mickey Mouse in an amusement park, this costume creates joy, confusion and something we desperately need right now: hope.

Ingela Ihrman explores strong emotions of everyday life between humans and non-humans, between art, craft and hobby culture, between science and theatre in a playful and awkward manner. She lives in Stockholm.