Stefan Blom | Brynhildr

“BRYNHILDR (2070 mm x 620 mm x 540 mm fibreglass with polyester resin as the plastic matrix and 2k polyurethane paint). Brynhildr is the name of one of the Valkyries or Germanic warriors and destiny goddesses. Valkyrie in Norse means “she who chooses warriors destined to die in battle”. In the New Larousse Encyclopaedia of Mythology, Valkyries are described as “helmeted goddesses grasping spears crowned with flame and mounted on flying steeds…” or “maidens in swans’ plumage who could fly through the air”. It is said that hey could change into human form, but if their plumage was stolen by a man they could never escape him and would be forced to obey him. Brynhildr angered Odin the one-eyed Norse god who had dominion over the Valkyries when she “allowed herself to be surprised by a man”. In response, Odin punished her by pricking her with a magic thorn so that she fell into a deep sleep and enclosed her in a dwelling surrounded by a wall of fire. No longer a Valkyrie, she could never visit Valhalla- or Norse heaven where the dead warriors go after death – and was forced to live an earthly life.

Blom gives us a contemporary Brynhildr who is nothing like the original depictions of the highly schematic, fully-robed figured fund on Viking pendants or the highly sexualised creature of the imagination popular in contemporary computer games and Anime. Steedless, she is armed with outsized yellow boxing gloves that make their appearance in a number of Blom’s sculptures, instead of a spear. She is depicted as a semi-naked woman whose femininity is enhanced by wearing a pair of oversized men’s grey trousers. The rippling fabric is in strong contrast to her surface which has a highly finished quality synonymous with a factory finish and appears more animated than she is. Although she follows the other sculpture’s (in the DShK series) mannequin form there is a quiet self-possessed sensuality in Blom’s Brynhildr, absent in the other warriors and goddesses that make up Blom’s firmament. As with the Palaeolithic fertility fetishes and goddesses, Brynhildr’s features are vague and hidden by what could be interpreted as a chrome breathing apparatus ending in an elephantine snout giving the sculpture a sci-fi feel. Arms drawn back in a pose of defence or attach, she too, is perched precariously on a round base, her feet trapped within or perhaps even non-existent” (Lucinda Jolly and Simon Ofield-Kerr, DShk – Stefan Blom, 2016, pp.79-81).


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