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/
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
Sandrine Elberg from France, photographer and visual artist; graduated from the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris in analogue photography.
‘My attraction to distant journeys invites us to lead projects inspired by the stories of Jules Verne (writer) and Georges Méliès (filmmaker and director). Also, I am inspired in search of territories, hostile climates to create lunar photographs.
When I am not traveling, I stay in the darkroom of my art studio to make light and chemical experiments. Influenced by the surrealist artists, Man Ray for example, I decline the photographic medium to technical and aesthetic possibilities. I love serendipity and experimental way to create my photographs’. https://www.sandrine-elberg.com/
Having Graduated in Surface Pattern Design in 1983, Julie Thompson has worked as a textile designer and also held many fine Art exhibitions since then. Now her work is evolving from her textile and fine art to become more abstract, taking influence from colour, texture and form to create new artwork.
Julie now aims to work with and upon reclaimed and recycled materials, such as sweet wrappers and cardboard, taking her inspiration from yoga, dance, verse and nature, merging together her loves to become new forms of artwork and expression.
Julie dances regularly and has taught dance from around the world for adult education and special needs in the past. She utilised her time at Nes to explore some create dance ideas, choreography and improvisation, being able to explore her love of dance and yoga and create and perform at open studio a strong piece of dance improvisation about a journey to self called “Emergence “with support and help from Kerryn. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
“I am a painter and my name is Sanneke Griepink. I live and work in Amsterdam in the Netherlands. My own work is very much connected to Iceland. When I went to art school, Iceland became my internship project. The Icelandic nature told me about our origins, about surviving in a climate of wind, rain, ice and fire, glaciers and waterfalls.
Iceland changed my way of looking forever. The landscape merely abstract, for the first time I could make realistic works but still with an abstract quality to it. This taught me about space, mass, substance and structure. In the abstracted landscapes of Iceland I could tell about the roughness and necessity of nature, our origin where we are different away from since we as human beings , settled down and started to experience nature as a threat. The Icelandic landscape is bare and rugged and mirrors all emotions possible.
The beauty of a landscape , the contact with nature, this is what I want to depict, I also urge for the need of nature and the pure experience, away from screens and asphalt, to find oneself again in a distressing surrounding. It is by painting it, I get to understand the meaning of a landscape. The seasons and different kind of weather are important to me, and I like them to reflect in the landscapes I make.”
Sarah Thibault is an artist and writer based in San Francisco. She has been traveling since the summer of 2018, living as a nomad and attending artist residencies. Her paintings and creative non-fiction essays are inspired by her travels and the people she meets on the road.
Her paintings and drawings investigates the feminine inconography through self-portraiture, portraits of other female artists and representations of the female in historical painting traditions. Her work can be found on her website: sarahthibault.com and her Instagram at @sarah_thibault.
Juli Snyder is a Philadelphia based abstract artist who has been compelled to create as long as she can remember. Her dynamic, distinctive paintings are vibrant and atmospheric, mainly inspired by emotion and the subconscious. Duality is a prominent theme.
Here in Iceland, inspiration is found everywhere and often in unexpected places. The elements, history, vastness of nature, being with wild horses and living so close to the water has had a profound impact. Icelandic water and experimentation with texture are utilized in her art here to create a deeper connection between the viewer, this experience and the location.
Being at NES residency and out of the country for the first time has given her the opportunity to look more closely at what is actually important and what’s not. Life is about connection. The natural world and remoteness of Skagaströnd can remind us of who we really are, if we’re open to seeing it. instagram: @black.arrow.arts Facebook: Black Arrow Arts