Desiring a strong mode of address. Directly. On a charged subject.

Large works grow out of an intensive act of painting as I constantly paint over, reconsider, change the balance – for nothing is secure – lose control, enter the unknown. The sea shows me different sides of life, making it possible to communicate and to stretch the bounds. Knowing one’s origins, creating one’s identity.

One is in the room and is surrounded by large, captivating paintings together with moving images that convey an intensive content. Being in the sea.

From painting to moving images is not a big step for me. The corruptibility of technique, the vulnerability of nature. I started using moving images in 1992, quite early on. Even using analogue video. I tried animation at Konstfack (University College of Art, Crafts and Design in Stockholm) and alternative experiments in a group of people at the Zita cinema.

The totality in the room, the strong sense of the sea’s proximity, the areas of wall between the paintings afford a brief pause, a breathing space, a thought. A sense of inclusion. As a child I holidayed in Spain with my family, experiencing the heat, the sun and the waves on the sea. This can create a sense of security or of fear.

My works take a long time to reach completion. I have needed to find a way of expressing what I feel. I reach down into my childhood with my choice of subjects. I want my art to save me. Humanity’s salvation may lie in the sea’s energy. The subject fills me with humility. I want to penetrate further and repeat the subject in order to reach its core, its innermost nature; and I have a need to paint the sea that I cannot resist. I want to identify myself with the sea as though it were my soul. How can we repair the damage we have done to nature? The links between people and the sea. Can society take over responsibility for the sea?

I am always happy to be close to rushing water, to rivers, strong currents. To me these are highly charged places. I feel present and they express a force which I need for living.

The sea is part of my person.
The sea is universal. Everyone owns it. Everyone treats it badly. Everyone loves it. Everyone respects it. Everyone knows what it looks like. Everyone knows what it is. So then what?

Ann Frössén

September 2008


Translation, Swedish to English by William Jewson