Ragga Róberts is an Icelandic artist who lives and works in Reykjavík, Iceland. She graduated from Pratt Institute with a BFA in Painting. Ragga has exhibited her work in Iceland, New York, and Texas. Her work narrates the beauty of icebergs and hints at the sadness of them slowly melting away due to climate change.
Ragga’s recent work explore light, color and nature. She is inspired by artists such as Fairfield Porter, Louisa Matthíasdóttir and Zaria Forman.
Kyo Kayamoto is a Japanese illustrator based in New York City. After graduating from Pratt Institute, she started her full-time freelancing career; writing and illustrating books, creating animations, and other illustration and graphic projects for a variety of clients.
Recently she is focusing on making postcards series as a personal project; in the picture you can see some of her illustrations for halloween and easter. She illustrates a story with some sense of humor with her original cute characters in each picture.
Since arriving in Iceland, artist in resident Erin Estrada has been making paintings about perceptions of land through the lens of tourism, capitalism, and kitsch culture. She is fascinated in how a landscape can act as an extension of the self, and reflect certain political and psychological ruminations.
Specifically, she establishes kitsch as a gimmick to undermine the subtle ways violence is woven into the fabric of the American society, directly a consequence of hyper-consumerist propaganda, and how this can lead to conspiracy theories. Commodified spirituality/lore, read as either banal or deeply meaningful, is of particular interest to her. She portrays places with this in mind, layering the image with borders, windows, signs/symbols specific to the region, and references from memory, as a way to point to the obfuscation of assumed realities. Website: http://er1n.com/
Hannah Witner is a visual artist and designer originally from Charlotte, NC, USA, and currently based between New York City and North Carolina. She earned a BFA in Integrated Design from Parsons School for Design in 2018. Hannah Witner’s work spans from colorful, surrealist, and psychological oil paintings, whimsical drawings, and experimental & commercial design. Hannah is a multidisciplinary artist: at the heart of her work lies a passion for uncovering the hidden potential of materials, psychological processes, and strange figuration, which she undertakes in a spirit of curiosity and experimentation.
Her work combines humanoids with an expansive array of visual material with immense play of colors, beginning in consciousness and transience. Her work combines touches of reality with meta-fiction and comedy and reflects our disorder, dissociation, detachment, individualism, and weird minutia of humans. She pokes at the flawed and unexplainable through painting and illustration, expressing a disorderliness that is both humorous, dark, and amorphic. At NES she hopes to make lots of drawings and studies on paper. Usually she works on large scale canvases, and the restriction to work on a smaller scale will be a great challenge. These drawings will be a continuation of the work she has been doing in New York and at the residency she attended just before arriving to NES in Lisbon, Portugal. It will hopefully start to open up a new avenue of regular practice of drawing and illustration in a more pronounced way in her practice. They will be mostly figurative, experimental, contemplative, surreal, whimsical, and sometimes nonsensical. Web: www.artbyhannah.me IG: @hannahwitner
Alexandra Ivanova is a composer, musician, researcher and writer, mentored by Lebanese-American composer and pianist Tarek Yamani. Through her writings and music, Alexandra aims to recreate connection and relatability between cultures that are othered in present times. Alexandra is working on new compositions and deepening her study of Azeri and Cuban folklore.
During her NES residency, she also discovered Icelandic folkloric songs through the history of the forgotten Icelandic Fidla. Alexandra sheds light on possible links of certain Icelandic folklore to Oriental influences and is creating new arrangements that celebrate these unlikely connections.
Performance live on July 30th, 2020 in @lian.kulturraum Vienna with Mahan Mirarab (@mahanmirarab) on guitar.
When not on the keys, Alexandra is researching and writing about identity, belonging and privilege. Her activities and interviews with Skagaströnd’s local community are part of her process creating an interactive theatre piece that questions social norms.
Building on her recent debut concert in Vienna, Alexandra is also combining her spoken word poems and compositions in live performances that spark questions around current social and cultural topics.
Follow her on Instagram: @a.i.jazz Photography credits: (1)Group in Skagaströnd: http://ludwignikulski.de (2) Solo image: Sam Adutwum (@samadutwum) Live video credits: Amin Ebrahimi (@amin_embrahiimii)
“Since 2014 my predominant media are painting and installation while exploring different random processes. My work has been very influenced by residency times and travels to Iceland where my observations of the color of the sky over a day, a week, a month led me to the Weathertranscriptions.
This practice has been more and more conceptualized and is rooted in the taoist philosophy and the idea of the sky of as a continuous movement and creative energy. I work with materials that are not very common for painting as plotter foil, other plastic materials and tracing paper which have the translucence that reminds of the sky’s impression.
So while as in a traditional landscape painting the sky and the earth are on one ground the result of my work is both vertical and horizontal as I work on the wall, performing a very simple gesture of tracing a line on the underground and in parallel collect the paint on the floor on paper, foil or other materials.
Often the process is documented by photography or even video. Deliberately I do not control the dripping paint, the notion of letting go or letting happen is part of my approach.
The results are abstract paintings that embody the notion of time and space and can be seen as landscapes in some ways.
Alongside my painting practice I dance a lot since a few years and I started to make video captures of those dances in the lasts months as it links to my older photographic work where I staged myself in different settings. I want to dedicate my time at Nes to find out if and how I could combine those two approaches to something broader like performance or choreography.”
Janette Kerr’s paintings and drawings represent immediate responses to movement and rhythm within the landscape.
Here in Skagaströnd they are about advancing snow and mist, wind, glancing sunlight, whiteness and shadows, land and mountains disappearing and reappearing – elements that seem to be about something intangible.
Visit Kerr’s website for more information or read her blog on her experience here in Skagaströnd and the far north.
Suzanne Yeremyan is an artist from Providence, Rhode Island [US]. Her practice revolves around the perspective that there is a delicate collaboration that exists between darkness and beauty. Through her practice, she attempts to translate and emulate these findings. Sources of inspiration are intangible or tangible, internal within the self or external around the self. Emotion and environment.
Her work reflects abrasion, corrosion, decay, woe and isolation. Works are on paper, glass, and repurposed materials such as textile, metal, and plastic – using ink, charcoal, and powder pigment. Finding the process of traditional, “correct” printmaking to be limiting for her practice, Suzanne’s experimental approach calls for less immaculacy and precision.
Working mostly with monotype and drypoint, self-made tools and solvents such as wire brushes and salt sprays are utilized.
In addition to printmaking, Suzanne’s body of work also includes mixed media abstractions, painting, illustration, collage, as well as music – using with sound as another way to explore the same concepts that inform her visual work. Despite a relatively diverse body of work, the purpose behind each piece remains consistent: there is warmth in darkness, there is beauty in the harsh.
Lieselle McMahon is a visual artist from Dublin, Ireland where she studied Music & Media Technologies at Trinity College Dublin and Art & Design at CEAD at the National College of Art and Design. Her practice is mainly sculptural, encompassing 2D, 3D installation, live art and sound sculpture. Drawing on the assertion that the personal is political, conceptual themes around feminism and anti-capitalism manifest in her work and she has been a member of A4 Sounds Arts Community since 2017, where she bases her practice. She draws on both music and art sensibilities in her work and her central focus is the body.
Currently she is exploring themes of intimacy, how we relate to the other and to ourselves, and our connection (or reconnection) to the body-mind. Whilst at NES she is investigating this through sculpture, performance and sound, drawing on local mythology, storytelling and folklore (particularly as it relates to Prophetess Mountain), engaging with the natural elements in Skagastrond and the execution of her artistic endeavours in the prolonged darkness – a time with an almost magical quality in the air when the intuition seems more easily accessible.
Many thanks to the Arts Council of Ireland for funding this artist residency with a travel and training award @artscouncilireland #artsireland @a4sounds @lieselle.mcmahon