Erica Swendrowski (Bob Tinker)
Just about everyone loves walking on and lying on a patch of grass. Budding Winnipeg landscape architect and artist Erica Swendrowski has found a new way to interact with turf as the artist in residence for several community gardens in and around Winnipeg. She's created whole sets of usable furniture using sod.
SCENE asked Erica to put aside her gardening tools to tell us about her passion for working with the basic elements.
What inspired you to apply to become the artist in residence for inner-city community gardens?
I have always been interested in combining nature and the landscape with art and sculpture, and this project provided an opportunity for me to do this.
What is one challenge working with your chosen materials?
Keeping the grass green!
What one thing do you want people to say about your creations?
I would like my creations to bring a smile to people's faces and for people to say that they enjoy them.
How has all this hot weather affected your work?
It's been very tough to keep the grass lush and green. I want the couches to be nice and comfortable for people to sit on.
What's one thing the gardeners working in the gardens say about your work?
Most gardeners that I have spoken with said they enjoy the couches, and would like one at their own home.
If you could create any piece of sod furniture of any size, what would it be?
I would create a nice big recliner with arm rests that could actually recline.
What's the secret to melding your love of gardening and landscape architecture?
I think the secret is creating magical places out of nature and pushing the limits as to what can be done.
Have a look at some of Erica's creations through the photography of Bob Tinker.