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)
Scott Walden arrived in Skagaströnd with plans to photograph vernacular architecture in the long summer twilight and write a philosophy paper interpreting Terrence Malick’s films as investigations into what it means to be a person and what circumstances are corrosive of such status.
But the Iceland twilight wasn’t what he was expecting and he’s now photographing local buildings and other structures in the silvery Icelandic daylight.
The writing’s going well, especially thanks to help from the other artists, who are taking part in a screening of Malick’s Badlands (1973) followed by a discussion of its themes and metaphors. http://scottwalden.net/
Alex Kahler is an author of fantasy and horror for adults and children. While at NES, he’s working on novels inspired by local folklore and ghost stories, and letting the magic of the landscape pull his writing in new directions. More information about his works can be found at www.arkahler.com
WRITER IN RESIDENCE – Sonja Sophie Kreis is a writer and artist from Switzerland, where she also works as a lecturer for art and art history. Her writing is very much inspired by art. She writes novels, but also experimental texts and texts about art. Her last book – KEIN SCHNEE IN VENEDIG/ NO SNOW IN VENICE – was published in Spring 2019 by edition pudelundpinscher.
Currently she is working on a novel with the title THE BIG ICE, inspired by a painting from the Swiss artist Adolf Dietrich (1877 – 1959), that shows the frozen Lake of Constance in the 1940’s. Today there is no more ice and snow at that place, so Sonja Sophie Kreis does some research in the winter landscapes of the north.
Last winter she spent some time in Greenland and now, in february 2020, she is experiencing the extreme weathers of Skagaströnd, writing in a room in the wonderful Salthuis, while observing the rapidly changing sceneries over the sea. It is a wonderfully inspiring place for someone interested in snow and ice in all possible forms and colors.
Indigo Perry is a writer and artist from near Melbourne, Australia. She is a Senior Lecturer in Writing & Literature in the School of Communication & Creative Arts at Deakin University. She writes memoir in poetic, experimental forms. Her first book, Midnight Water (Picador) was shortlisted for Australia’s National Biography Award. Her second book, Darkfall (University of Western Australia Publishing) is due for release in April 2020.
At NES, Indigo is working on her third book, Midnight Fire. It’s a memoir about the profound effects of grief. Since she has been at NES, and after seeing the phenomenon of iridescent nacreous clouds (glitsky), she has become interested in diffraction: the bending of light around objects. This is influencing her imagery and form in writing. She has also been inspired by the stormy weather, the changing skies, the rhythms of the wind and by Icelandic music during her residency.
Indigo also writes live in performance as part of a performance art duo called Illuminous. In that work, her writing is digitally projected over herself and her collaborator in a performance space as they improvise live.
At NES, Indigo has carried out a series of text projection experiments with another artist, Sinéad Bhreathnach-Cashell. Some of those experiments in the NES studio and at the Skagastrond swimming pool are shown in the images below, along with some fragments of writing from Midnight Fire.
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.
Richard Read is an Emeritus Professor and Senior Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Western Australia where he has taught art history for 30 years. He has published in major journals on the relationship between literature and the visual arts, the history of art theory, nineteenth and twentieth-century European and Australian art history, American and Australian landscape painting, contemporary film, and complex images in global contexts. He wrote the first book on the art critic Adrian Stokes and his latest book is an anthology of essays on intimations of the Anthropocene in nineteenth-century Australian and North American landscape painting. A long-term book project is The Reversed Painting in Western Art. At NES he is drafting a short book on the interpretative energy that travelling between countries brings to their respective art works in an era of tension between ‘home’ and ‘away’ in nationalist politics.
While at NES, I’ll be working on a collection of poetry and photographic images that address the shifting dynamics in the female body when hormonal fluctuations begin to alter a once known entity–one’s own self–into something unrecognizable. Transformations in the natural world that happen on a daily basis in extreme climates and geographies like Iceland, and transformations happening because of what we’re doing to our beautiful planet, mirror what I’m experiencing in my own aging process: a transmutation of the body and a cataclysm of heat creating a violent expulsion of a former self. It feels like devastation.