The current artists-in-residence at NES will be showing the outcome of their one or two-month stay in Skagaströnd on Tuesday the 21st of February at 1700 – 1900 pm. Working in different media such as painting, video, installation, textile and photography, the artists will turn their studio into an exhibition space, putting on display both finished art pieces and works-in-progress.
Some of the artists have worked directly with the environment in and around Skagaströnd and with Icelandic history and society: Dutch artist AnneMarie van Splunter is finalizing a documentary about the leikskóli in Skagaströnd, American artist Liz Hope Layton has produced paintings and video based on the story of Þórdís the prophetess and Italian artist Barbara Gamper has been investigating the notions of place and identity in Iceland. Franco-Spanish artist Luis Milguel Dominguez is drawing a landscape with ink on a 10meter canvas, Mexican artist Christian Castañeda Vázquez has been working on drawings based on Icelandic myths and fables and German artist Christin Lutze has brought the colours of the Icelandic winter landscape into her acrylic paintings. Sid Blevins has been working on musical pieces, while Elsa di Venosa and Hugo Deverchère from France are working on a video project, they are drawing the story of an aerial journey inspired by the lunar landscapes of the country.
With the wind constantly howling outside, the NES studio has been an almost 24-hour workplace for us over the last few weeks. It has been a remarkable experience to be absorbed by work in the light, spacious studios for hours at an end, and then to walk out the door into a roaring blizzard and to ten centimetres of snow that wasn’t there in the morning. Every day the landscape around Skagaströnd, – the mountains, the sea and the fields, – are different in colour and texture.
One has to be pretty numb not to be affected by the intensity of nature in and around Skagaströnd, – the scarcity of light and the colours of the aurora borealis. But if the wind gets too strong we find a lamp post to hold on to, or if visibility is less than one meter on our way home at night, we turn around and go back to the studios. There’s food in the fridge, there’s blankets, there’s a few couches. We could stay put for a couple of weeks in the studios if we have to. There’s nothing to be afraid of.