A recurring theme in Maria E Harrysson’s art is the complicated relationship between Man and Nature - how we admire and romanticize this relationship as we simultaneously use and destroy it. Harrysson has responded to climate issues through her artworks for over a decade. Her drawings, objects, installations and films are a reaction to the frustration she feels over how Man treats Nature; how we cherry-pick and discard the rest, without accountability. Harrysson’s point of departure is fearfulness for the future which acts as a catalyst for her creativity. She recounts and reconstructs relationships and news in an attempt to formulate a poetic, visual scenario for the future.
The essence of Harrysson’s work lies in her graphite drawings. She uses a time-consuming technique to invest energy in the image, so the observer can feel a sense of durability and effort in the sketches and relate it to her/his own experiences. The images in the drawings are only produced in the mind. They are construed memories and distorted prophecies. To a great extent symbolism is applied and Harrysson often returns to the sea-view, a frequent motif for romanticizing nature. Likewise, the sphere represents the earth, moon and sun - the conditions of our very existence. The sea-shell alludes to the fragile and desirable but also to that which we destroy in our path, without any reflection, as we move forward through life.
Harrysson’s project Future Romance includes drawings with smog that conceal the horizon and water which may seem threatening. The romanticized elements of nature don’t appear as they usually do, but present a somewhat surrealistic aspect. Alongside these graphite drawings there are sculptural elements of future findings from the beach, made of debris left behind by people - as a way to ”repair” or rectify the impact of Mankind on the natural environment of earth.