• Issue
  • Nov 01, 2023

Inside Burger Collection: Treasures of a Drifter: Ida Ekblad

IDA EKBLAD, A Deadly Slumber of All Forces, 2021, bronze, paint, stainless steel, 703 × 101 × 500 cm. Photo by Vegard Kleven. Courtesy Kistefos Museum. Copyright Ida Ekblad / BONO 2023. 

There is no surer welcome for a graffiti artist than the humble iron gate: ornamental, industrial, and imposing, these barred portals present irresistible frontiers that invite as much as they repel. For Norwegian artist Ida Ekblad the fence circling a bus depot in Oslo was once an oblique point of entry, a place into which she could drift and paint murals on the walls and roof, leave her mark, and turn a municipal complex into a summer hideout with her peers. Ekblad has carried this dauntless free spirit into adulthood, creating paintings, sculptures, and installations, as well as building communities that are improvisational, nonhierarchical, collaged, and coltish. Staying true to her industrial-inspired roots, Ekblad’s artistic process often includes foraging discarded materials during dérives (“drifts”), a foundational term in psychogeography for unplanned journeys through urban environments.