March 2024

Destination Moon

Text: Gabriel Knowles Images: Anna Pogossova

When Anna Pogossova left Sydney for a one month artist residency in Reykjavik through SIM (Association for Icelandic Artists) she had no idea it would be a lunar experience. The Moscow-born artist explains how the Icelandic landscape has informed her latest body of work.

“I set out to make a completely different body of work, but the landscape in Iceland has a really imposing presence and somehow just seeps into everything you do. It’s incredible and feels so alien in a lot of ways. Landing at the airport, over the lava rock fields, was like landing on the moon! It’s completely flat, vast and empty and you can see across it for kilometers with nothing polluting the horizon.”

Anna Pogossova

“Right across from the center of town is a giant mountain. You can basically see it from any café you go to. It’s very hard to ignore a giant daunting mountain. Giant mountains have a lot of force. We spent a lot of time just standing and staring at vast things, monumental things, infinite things, barren snowy things. It’s almost impossible to convey the feeling in an image. I think as a response to feeling so small and overwhelmed all the time I began to construct my own miniature sets of more obscure surfaces, somewhere in between landscapes and theaters.”

Anna PogossovaAnna PogossovaAnna Pogossova

“A large portion of each day was spent looking out the big panoramic windows in our house. Throughout the day the weather, the light/colour and the landscape transformed completely, so I would check to see what it looked like every hour or so. I also suffered bouts of insomnia while I was here, which involved more looking out the window to pass the time.”

Anna PogossovaAnna Pogossova

“Something I noticed and became obsessed with, was how well the colours of the buildings worked with the light reflected off the snow and the overcast skies. It felt as though the people here have a heightened sensitivity to the landscape and that the architecture assimilates into the landscape and weather through colour. I started approaching the landscape synesthetically – associating places with certain shapes and colours and I also became more and more aware of reappearing hues around the city and tried to seek out similar tones.”

Anna PogossovaAnna Pogossova

Anna Pogossova

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