"I think Ans Westra has a message for us. Not always comfortable, but consistently powerful. I think it's a statement of love, exploration and adventure."
- Photographic commentator, Peter Turner
Ans Westra's remarkable ability to constantly capture and explore life through her camera has once again allowed Ans to come up with new and extremely exciting images. Awarded an Arts Foundation NZ Icon Award for 2007, Ans is one of New Zealand's most celebrated photographers, and in her new series, Toy-Land, Ans once again validates this honour.
In Toy-Land Ans has taken the common, the small and harmless and given it new life. Readily available souvenirs become monumental works of art. Cute and cuddly no more, these Toys now demand not only attention but the space which surrounds them. By photographing and enlarging these souvenirs Ans has removed them from their original objective all together.
"I started looking at the souvenir market, how we portray ourselves to the world, collecting things people sell for souvenirs. It is representation in a more playful way."
Ans' ability and commitment to pushing boundaries and making the ordinary extraordinary are her trademarks. These new works are at once an absolute delight and a little terrifying.