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Dwell Magazine (January-February 2003)
I'm interested in taking objects out of their original context and putting them in a new one, and, in doing so, creating something completely different. I like contrasts in the environment, but I don't want my work to contrast like cursing — it should be subtle. It should be part of the environment, but not dominate it. I try to use material that is already on the site (grass, willows, water), but I use it in another way because I want people to see that something different has happened there.
In projects in urban areas, this process is extremely complicated. There are urban planners, architects, the provincial road building department, the national forestry department, the highway department, the water department, and they all have something to say. I usually cope with about 15 different disciplines when working in the public space. Because of this, one is forced into a position where compromise would be the easy way out. For me this is part of the game - to give and take, but never to lose my original idea. About one third of all my concepts are realized. If you are an architect or landscape architect, the officials take you very seriously, but if you are an artist, like me, they can look at you like you are crazy.
When working in rural locations, you have a lot more freedom. But still, you always have to fight to convince people of the value of your idea. Working in rural places has its own set of problems — it's much more difficult to distinguish the work from its surroundings without it screaming, "Look at me, I'm art." I don't want to make art that is holy, but I do want people to see that there has been someone struggling to bring an idea to life.
I want to prompt people to think a little bit differently about where they are - to think, there is more here. These projects are meant to be experienced by everyone, every day, and they can change with people and time. They are not static and neither are their surroundings.