Nes Artist Residency was founded in the beginning of March 2008 in the rural and remote town of Skagaströnd and the first artists arrived in June.
Nes is a member of the Remote Network of Artist Residencies in the Nordic and Baltic Regions
As an international artist residency, Nes provides artists with a workspace and living quarters within Skagaströnd. The studios are separate from the artist houses that are scattered amoung the town. The town was a trading and fishing village. With the fishing industry decreasing in the last decade, the former fishing plant at Fjörubraut 8 has now found a new role housing the Nes artist residency studios.
The artist accommodation is in apartments or row-houses in the town, each shared by up to 4 artists.
The studios are open by appointment. If you would like to visit the residency while traveling in Iceland, or if you are considering staying at Nes and want to find out more by seeing it, please arrange to meet Melody in advance on +354 691 5554.
The main goal of the residency is to provide an opportunity for international exchange, artistic cross-pollination, and to create an open possibility for collaborations. Nes is not focused on outcomes or exhibitions, although we do encourage artists to present work if they like. The artistic process is highly regarded at Nes as a vital part of a residency, and it is appreciated when artists understand the process of liveness, or immersion into a space or place to undertake their work in a foreign and remote context. This is a residency where professional artists in all media are welcomed, and a strong encouragement of inter-disciplinary artists is extended.
Engagement with the community is encouraged, albeit cups of tea, sharing meals, or presenting work. We encourage all artists to grab the bull by the horns and jump in. Skagaströnd is more rewarding when you come with open eyes and participate in town events. We also encourage artists to present work, ideas, or process based documentation in our public Open Studio days that are held at the end of each month.
Nes is an multi disciplinary residency. We know the value and innovation of looking beyond one field or genre to exchange and cross-pollinate. All artforms are welcome, no matter how obscure or how many /…/…/ slashes you carry. Ideas reign here.
Open Call for applications
Applications to Nes artist residency are submitted at any time (open call) online.
Applications are assessed once a month. For Summer applications (June July August September) the deadline is November 10 the year prior. Summer months are particularly competitive and it is recommended you plan ahead and finalise your residency and fees early to avoid missing out.
Nes maintains an individual approach to the residency with artists working on new work development, research, academic, or practical process studio work. Artists are from all disciplines, some with promising emerging careers, some mid-career, and some distinguished experts in their field.
Nes is a studio based residency.
The residency is loosely structured with 3 events each month and unexpected opportunities often arise depending on the artist. Each month we hold a pot-luck dinner, a Pecha Kucha night and an open studios exhibition.
We are a remote and somewhat isolated residency and as such have very limited resources. You must be self-sufficient and have keen initiative and self-drive. It is what you make it. The structure is left open to cater for individuality and spontaneity. Often opportunities arise that you would never have imagined, we provide an environment where you can take advantage of inspiration drawn from place and presence.
Placements at the residency are taken in monthly blocks (1st – last days of the months). It is strongly preferred and encouraged that artists stay 2 months or more in order to create articulate, well thought through work. There is a process to displacement and adjustment here, immersion into the environment of Skagaströnd will take you time and your work will find stronger legs by this understanding. In addition artists often ask to stay longer or arrange to come back as they did not allocate enough time to be here. Sometimes we cannot accommodate these artists due to new incoming artists. Once your months are secure with the residency you are free to roam also. We understand that some artists need trips for field work, filming, research trips, and process based activity that may see you connecting with galleries or artists in neighbouring cities while maintaining a base in the north with us and a studio practice. You may need to hire a car or take buses. Nes cannot (and does not) arrange any of this for you, you must work independently.
Would you like to interact with the community?
There may be opportunities to interact with the community of Skagaströnd. The art teacher at the grade school has been working with artists from Nes. She has been bringing her classes to the studio for art talks.
If you have specific ideas and you work in engaged practice; live-art, relational, interactive, documentary, social performance and such, Nes can help you get in touch with people who are open to working with artists.
There is a museum called Spákonuhoff that tells the tales of þordis, the prophetess and original settler of Spákonafell mountain in Skagaströnd.
In February the town gathers to eat the traditional foods of Iceland together in a celebration called þorrablót. It is a fantastic way to meet people and be introduced to the culture in one of the biggest nights of the year.
In June Fishermans Day celebrations are held with a town festival in Skagaströnd.
Christmas traditions are magical in Iceland and December glows with myths, stories, jólasveinn, and spirit.
New Years in Iceland is explosive, quite literally. Fireworks are sold in (many) tons across the country with proceeds going to the volunteer search and rescue teams. Residents in Skagaströnd light up the day and night in December and January in unison with the Northern Lights.