Walking on the Beach

ART AND ENVIRONMENT Finnish painter Nanna Susi writes about her project, which came by almost like a surprise, walking on the beach of Villa Karo in April 2011.

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Since I came to Villa Karo only for three weeks, I hadn’t made any hard working plans for such a short time. It was clear that for an artist to experience the cultural atmosphere was the THING. But after three days I found myself picking up used plastic bags (that had contained drinking water) from the beach. Garbage, crap, hundreds of plastic bags all over.

I washed them, dried them and after that took them to a local sowing lady, Justine. Certainly she was a little bit amazed of the all the ”Salut” bags with still some sand inside of them when I put them on her table and explained the project. She sew them all together in six hours maybe thinking at the same that I was a little weird. After that I hanged the work down from Villa Karo’s balcony to measure the work’s dimensions: 1,6m X 3,6m. I named the work ”Walking on the beach”. What a great transformation!

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A local photographer came to take a picture of it with a conventional film camera, took the film to Cotonou and made three size A3 colour prints. He also framed them. One of them is given to Villa Karo.

I was inspired so much of doing something else than painting. So I started another project with a local carpenter. I had an idea of a big necklace. I found some wood and then the carpenter made twenty eight pieces out of it. He drilled holes through the pieces. I found an old rope on the floor at the shop. Then I bought some textiles and took them to Justine’s. Then I drew two stars in the sand of her yard and I asked her to sow pillow-like stars to me. I put everything together at Villa Karo’s studio. One neklace is one meter and forty centimeters tall with a black star, the other one is three meters tall with a golden star.

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