Futuristic Water Cowboys

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In August 2022, the futuristic artwork Futuristic Water Cowboys was painted by artist Amanda Karlsson on a construction trailer that will be used by the workers involved in Gothenburg’s water production. The project was a collaboration between us and the department of Sustainable Waste and Water at the City of Gothenburg, which manages the city’s drinking water, wastewater and waste. Another important goal of the administration is to equip the city to cope with heavy rainfall.

Amanda is based in Gothenburg but is originally from Karlstad in Värmland. She works full-time with art and spends a lot of time in her studio in Gamlestaden here in Gothenburg, which is shared with three other artists. Her entry into art was through storytelling. In her home region of Värmland, there is a storytelling tradition that often lies on the border between reality and fiction, and this has had a strong influence on her artistic work. As a child she loved fairy tales and then realized that she could tell them herself through her painting. This realization came at the end of secondary school and since then she has studied at folk high school and individual courses at art college, but has mainly worked individually. She has always painted with oil paints with the exception of individual water-based paints when doing murals. In addition to oil paint, she has a strong interest in wood and often builds my paintings into wooden sculptures. The building itself is something that is really present throughout the process in her work. She often uses costumes, sets and props when constructing the paintings. For the painting of the village shanty, she tried to build a kind of water suction backpack out of cardboard.

What inspired me with the construction trailer was the workers who will use it; the ones who work with recycling and water for the city of Gothenburg. I wanted to make a kind of alternative reality where they were seen from a science-fiction perspective. Since both recycling and water are so fundamentally important for a city, I thought it was one of the professions that would last into the future. I was interested in imagining this and hopefully inviting viewers to imagine the same thing.

Amanda Karlsson

Amanda mainly tries to work with fiction as an artistic tool. Imaginary worlds and alternative realities. It can then fall towards dystopias and utopias and in her painting on the bush she herself is unsure which of them it belongs to. The title is Futuristic Water Cowboys and for her it brings to mind both a kind of humorous future in space but also a dystopian future of water scarcity. 

The end result was great

Johan Ternstrand, Sustainable Waste and Water-City of Gothenburg

Futuristic Water Cowboys is the third art project that Youthpower and Sustainable Waste and Water have created together with local artists. Amanda Karlsson also painted another artwork on Kungsgatan, while artist Camilla Boström was responsible for the creation of the painting on Almanacksvägen. Johan Ternstrand from the City of Gothenburg’s Sustainable Waste and Water department explains that the idea to create art on a construction trailer was born during the two previous art projects. He says that the department of Sustainable Waste and Water was pleased with the collaboration and is looking forward to participating in more art projects in the future.

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