Zostera marina (ålgräs) by Anna Ling, detail. Photo: Karl Larsson
GGöteborg International Biennial for Contemporary Art (GIBCA) The Ghost Ship and the Sea Change 2021 – Photo : Hendrik Zeitler

Zostera marina (eelgrass) #1-5

Ink on linen 
145 x 200 cm each 
Courtesy the artist and Elastic gallery  

The history of a city is often told from the point of view of human activities and perspectives. But the conditions for human life are interwoven with other organisms that are seldom ever mentioned. Ling’s paintings are based on photographs of eelgrass meadows outside the island of Tjörn taken from above the surface of the sea and looking down toward the bottom. The transparent layers of ink wash capture the feeling of looking down into the billowing masses of eelgrass blades. Ling’s interest in eelgrass began with her ruminations over why there were no longer as many fish in the waters she had fished as a child. One of the causes turned out to be the fact that most of Bohuslän County’s eelgrass meadows, which are often referred to as “the nurseries of the sea,” had disappeared due to over-fertilizing and development. For some time, the county administrative board and scientists have been working to protect and reestablish the eelgrass meadows, a time-consuming effort because the grass must be replanted by hand, one shoot at a time, using scuba divers.  


Anna Ling (b. 1971 in Gothenburg, Sweden) lives and works as an artist in Malmö. She was educated at the Malmö Art Academy. One thing that is distinctive of her work is long series of drawings made with pen and ink or India ink wash. In recent years, she has also worked with a number of sculptural projects. She has a research-oriented working method that often deals with topics such as natural phenomena, weather conditions, and biodiversity. Exhibitions of Ling’s work include the Nordic Watercolor Museum, Skärhamn (2021); Lunds Konsthall (2018); Konsthall Charlottenburg, Copenhagen (2017), Göteborgs Konsthall, Gothenburg (2016). 


Röda Sten Konsthall