Nature and questions of human relations are recurring sources of inspiration and subject matters in Nina K Ekman’s work. The connection to nature is deeply rooted in Ekman as the North of Norway has been a backdrop throughout her childhood. Her relationship to nature is not only a personal longing, but a point of interest which has unfolded the topic of nature’s role to man and vice versa. Ekman’s work floats between paint and textiles, sculptures and etchings, and she is always experimenting with ways to stretch and challenge her own use of the media. Most recently Ekman has been drawn by the technique of tufting as a way of building textile sculptures. Tufting is a method of weaving carpets, but to Ekman tufting has become a playful opportunity to create singular pieces with an original appearance. At first sight the tufted works might appear as simply fun, likeable and quirky, but most of Ekman’s pieces investigate the unsustainability of our modern lifestyle inviting the observer to reflect upon our linear way of consuming, fast fashion and the consequences of our neglect for the future of the planet.
Sustainability and circularity are also central to Ekman’s production, which primarily uses surplus yarn from the textile industry. Dilemmas and paradoxes of modern life, including issues pertaining to the preservation of our planet, are a constant driving force in the artist’s work, giving it a sense of urgency. At the same time, the tufted, huggable cactus, the birch forest and the lifelike palms are in themselves utopias.
Nina K Ekman is part of Socle du Monde’s Open Call, Danish Open.