Alex Close is a Canadian visual artist and researcher currently based in Ottawa Canada who recently graduated with an MDes in industrial design research from Carleton University in Ottawa (2020) and an MLitt in fine art practice from the Glasgow School of Art in 2017. She graduated from her BFA in drawing and painting from OCAD University in Toronto in 2015.
Critical and curious about mechanical rhythms adopted by humans, she questions the material imprint man-made items or rhythms have on subconscious movement patterns and the process of archiving images in memory.
In this vein, she also explores optics and perception with a critical eye on constructed or designed experiences/spaces and how organic powers such as sleep might fight back.
In this realm of dyads she explores the juxtaposition of supernatural (such as mythology) and hypertechnological spaces, and the meeting point of industry and natural environment (which in some cases can be oddly harmonious).
She is also committed to cross-disciplinary dialogue with her recent research exploring remote multidisciplinary drawing ideation through digital media such as virtual reality.
Before leaving Iceland Alex exhibited at Litla Gallery in Hafnarfjörður near Reykjavik. You can find more information about her work here: https://a-close.com/
Janine Gerber is a german artist, working and living in Lübeck close to the Baltic sea. She graduated in 2006 from the School of Art and Design Berlin-Weißensee and studied at the Academy of Fine Arts Munich. In 2018, she was awarded the 1st Possehl-Art Award for Lübeck Art.
Her artistic research is based on the transition between the illusional space in a painting and the natural space.
Janine explores themes of materiality and its poetic value, sensory aspects of surfaces like ink, oil paint or paper (unprocessed white, or paint with machine oil) and the opening towards the three-dimensional.
During her one-month stay at NES artist residency Janine is focused on themes of folding and tangency in nature.
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.