Go Deeper

Artist Anna Ekros on WetLand

Posted September 10th, 2014

Fringe - WetLand Anna EkrosThe day that WetLand opened to the public (luckily, without a splash), Sweden-born artist Anna Ekros began her residency on the floating barge. Ekros’s handiwork is everywhere on WetLand, from the swirling greenery she painted in the greenhouse bathing room to the planters she designed and built.

Below, Ekros discusses how WetLand offers her a unique environment to thrive as a creator.

What about WetLand appeals to you as an artist?
I like the collaborative aspect [of the project] as well as the futuristic one, how we all come in with different knowledge and interests and are given the space to create this vision.

How do you think the unique living situation on WetLand will influence your art?
The space determines the mindset, WetLand becomes a frame as well as a platform that we expand off of together. Visual stimuli automatically changes the way the mind works: simple things like light and color as well as space, resources, and timeframe. I guess a small space, a limited amount of resources, and a tight timeframe will remind me that you don’t have to have much to create a lot.

What about living communally do you find meaningful and/or important?
Constantly having other people around is participating in an unconscious association chain.
It interrupts repetitive thought patterns and opens up space for new ones. For periods of time, it is important to work together in groups for that reason.

How do you anticipate balancing individual and collaborative work on WetLand?
WetLand can be seen as one big sculpture that we all build together, [so in that sense] there’s no real difference. It becomes a pause from the focus on individuality. But I also take time every day when I walk off to work on my own thing.

Having worked in multiple cities around the world, how do you think location and space influence your work?
Mostly the [primitivism] of the living situation affects me, [because] there’s less distraction. Also meeting a city in this way in combination with a large number of people opens you up. Workwise that results in a possibility to broaden.

What themes do you see emerging in your work? How do you see these interacting with the themes and values of WetLand?
The values become something internalized – you are a part of it just by the location you choose to spend your time in. I’m used to working with raw or recycled material but relying on it for floors and ceilings gives you a reality check. I think WetLand has deepened my understanding by experiencing the [interdependence] of imagination and creativity and manifesting these ideas into reality.

When did you know you were an artist?
I started resisting it when I was about 12, engaging in the process of the trade around 15, and accepting it when I was around 21.

Why are you an artist?
I haven’t found another way of being able to be curious.

August 15th to September 21st, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm (ongoing)
Independence Seaport Museum Pier
211 South Columbus Blvd (at Dock St)

–Abby Holtzman