In 2019 I applied for a residency at Nordic Artists' Centre Dale on the west coast of Norway. The residency was a collaboration with Tegnerforbundet (Association of Drawing) in Oslo and had the theme "Tekst og tegning" (Text and drawing). I got accepted together with four other artists - Kirsten Opstad, Torgeir Husevaag, Sebastian Larsmo and Ebba Bring. The residency was for three months, and we were to do a group show at the gallery of Tegnerforbundet at the end of May. I travelled to Dale with a rented car at the beginning of March because I wanted to bring materials from Oslo so I could start immediately on arrival. My friend Mattias Cantzler accompanied me so he could take the car back to Oslo afterwards. The trip was basically the same as the one I did in 2019 when I exhibited in Førde, but went a bit further. It was gorgeous this time as well. We were a little worried it would be too much snow and ice on the road passing Hemsedal, but it worked out fine.
It was dark as we arrived, but we were greeted by Kirsten and Sebastian, who were already there. We had wine in my hut, and it turned out to be a lovely evening. The next day I explored the compound and my studio. It was truly amazing! To be able to work here for three months felt so fantastic. I was overwhelmed.
One of the first days me, Torgeir and Kirsten went down to Dale to have the local dish Komle.
We all went to the opening of "Vestlandsutstillingen", a collective show with artist from the west area of Norway. Arild H. Eriksen the director of the artist centre introduced us to the head of Førde Art Museum were the exhibition was held.
Gunnstein Brakestad, the leader of Førde Art Association opened the exhibition. We had met last year when I exhibited there. We also visited Rikken, Førdes very well assorted shop for artistic materials. The others were exited.
Then came corona and Norway stopped. I was very worried first, but in a way we were lucky to be isolated on this mountain top. There were only five of us plus Arild the director, so we became a small family, or "the flock" us Ebba coined us. My kids were back in Oslo, I had arranged so they could stay with their mothers for the duration of the residency. Now it was also maybe better that they lived in one place during the epidemic instead of having two homes. The schools closed and they had digital classes. I was not able to go back as I had planned which felt difficult, but there was nothing to be done about that. We had to make due with phone and screen calls.
Also I had to postpone my exhibition in Stockholm at Husby Konsthall that was supposed start at the end of March. All of us thought that our group show also would be delayed, but in the end we actually could execute it almost as planned. The whole experience was very much coloured by the pandemic for better and for worse.
One day me and Sebastian borrowed the Dale car and went for some local sightseeing.
The place has excellent hiking areas with thick woods and mountain tops to climb. It was not so much my thing but I did some walks alone or together with the group.
Some "still lifes" from my studio.
I bought a hat.
I baked a cake. This is my familys traditional easter cake "Kronans kaka". Magda, the daughter of Kirsten and Roald helped me roll the chickens.
We made a wonderful trip to Buerlandet, where we visited a quarry, saw white-tailed eagles and enjoyed nature and each others company.
From the Dale chair you could watch the sunset across the fjord with the village at your feet. Amazing.
When we were 2 thirds through and the weather got warmer I bought a armchair for my porch. I made an assessment of my works so far and we started working with the model of the gallery that Arild build. First of May we raised the flag.
To convince the others that a participatory art project was a good idea I made a special version for my fellow residents including Arild, Roald and Magda. It was a very nice event that ended with beverages until late in my studio. See and read more about it here.
I went to Bergen to pick up two very entertaining guests. They extended there stay over May 17, Norways national day and Dale flagged with both Norwegian and Swedish flags (we were three swedish participants in the residency).
Here is twelve scenic photos of the mountain and bridge that was part of the view outside the studio building. I stopped here every day to admire it different looks depending on weather and season.
At the end of our stay the corona closed bar opened and we could have the seasons first out-door beer. It was sad to empty my fantastic studio. I drove the Dale car to Oslo together with Sebastian. After missing our turn and almost driving towards Bergen we managed to take a look at the beautiful Borgund "stavkirke" from the year 1181!
I produced 16 works in my Tablet series during my stay. Read more about the series and the individual works here.
This was the first time I had an artist residency. It had a significant impact on both my professional and personal life. I was able to work focused and efficient on a specific segment of my work for a long period of time, and even if I simultaneously did money job on the side (graphic design), I believe it was important for my process to do this properly for once. Personally I had the chance to step out of my private life and leave family and friends behind for a while. My kids are getting old, the youngest is now 15 years. I had a glimpse of what my future could contain, with freedom to choose from a wider selection of options for how and where to live.