I, like everyone else, have not decided to be born. I was just born into this world. Without the ability to influence it. We are a lot here. Billions and billions. We are different. Hard and soft. Animals, humans. Big, small. Beautiful, ugly. Pleasant, disgusting. We are here together on earth for a short time.
And, we are very far from creating a paradise for ourselves.
As we have free will, and as the man is good, there wouldn’t be any worries. One would think.
I am hopeful. I believe in the future, in all the courageous people around the world.

Inspiration: The tough nature. Can you find happiness in misery? Can ugly be beautiful? If there is a taboo in Sweden, something you can’t touch or talk negatively about it is Astrid Lindgren. A lot of Swedes will agree, I’m sure. But for me I think that she hadn’t given us only good things, she has given us the Bullerby Syndrome as well. And I’m not the only one thinking so. Some people even call her “The Brain Washer from Wimmerby”.
So what is the Bullerby Syndrome? Well, in Sweden we have a tendency to think that happiness lays in the environment. And that the environment has to look in a special way to be able to give happiness. I think you recognize it. Red little cottage. White corners of the house. Preferably green window shutters. A gate. A kitten. An apple tree. White wooden garden furniture. Maybe a hammock. And there we happily gather. The Bullerby Syndrome.

And that’s ok. It could be worse. But I think it stands in our way when we make decisions in our lives.
When I was a little girl me and my friend Håkan hade a favorite place of our own. It was a concrete corner, just by the entrance to a garage below ground. I thought it was fantastic to play there, there we had our own little world. No an apple tree in sight.
My passion for concrete and the beautiful ugly started right there.
I had longed to learn how to handle concrete for many years when I finally did it in 2008.  I think the material is raw and heavy and at the same time really beautiful. And exiting. It’s a challenge to handle because you’re not supposed to sculpture it. So there’s a lot of failures. But it doesn’t matter. To fail is also a way of succeeding. Concrete is my passion. And steel wire. And garbage. It’s raw and heavy. And sustainable. And fragile. As life. As nature. 2015.

Inspiration: To leave and to enter. I am in hurry. For inspiration to new thoughts, ideas and images. And inspiration is everywhere. To travel and see new things. For example, a bunch of newspaper boxes on Broadway, Manhattan. They look like a bunch of small friendly old men and women who are just waiting for something exciting to happen. Overall, it is inspiring to all the little messages you get in the cities, crocheted scarves around lamp posts, sculptures placed at traffic lights and electric wires.

To enter. Or, for that matter to leave. Through a door can be very inspiring. To face a new environment, or to see an old environment in a new way. It can be quite scary, because “we know what we have, but not what we can get.” To expose oneself, for example by getting on stage when you actually have stage fright.

Or, to see a film by Almodovar. His stories are often so bizarre and challenging. The characters, half-crazy or different, makes me smile, give me energy and new thoughts. And his aesthetics! I just love his set design, colors, and light.

But at the same time, spending time in nature also do me good. The monotony you get when you hike in the mountains. You wander in eternity and are forced to listen to oneself for a while. Or some hours. So tiny you feel when you see infinity. And how good a sandwich can taste. Energy. Monotony. Eternity. Infinity.

Did you dance? It is a question that my mother often askes after any event I have attended. Slightly irritating during adolescence. But now I realize that it’s a good question. I think that both the body and the soul needs it. And laughter. And doing both at the same time gives me energy and inspiration that lasts for weeks …

Yes, and the Norwegian couple who have converted an oil tank to a residence in Lofoten. To see a new possibility in something that most people think is ugly and wrong. Fantastic. 2015.

All this is in my art.

Anna-Lena Ekenryd