Stokkøya Residency 2019
The collaborative nature of the residency offered a unique chance for myself and three other artists and to embed our practices in unfamiliar mediums and ways of working when met with new ideas through collaboration and in engaging with a completely new environment and community. The aim of the residency is to offer artists a period of time to freely explore new crafts, materials, concept and theories and learn from artists with different skills . These conditions generate many interesting discussions both in relation to art making but also in relation to the art market and what the future holds for artists and what the long term strategies need to be.
The fragility and unpredictability of the earth beneath our feet have shaped the artists’ experiences throughout this year’s Stokkøyart residency. The journey from Trondheim airport to Stokkøya was redirected as a result of the Stokksundveien landslide almost entirely decimating the road and cutting the island off from mainland Norway. Consequently, the artists travelled there by boat; the way the island’s inhabitants and visitors have done for centuries prior to the modern bridges and roads being built. Until an old horse track was made accessible there was no passage to or from the island by car. This led them to consider questions around the liability of infrastructure and what happens when it fails to perform.
På utrygg grunn : On Precarious Ground
‘På utrygg grunn’ is a work inspired by the incident that happened just over a month ago, which cut off the island from mainland Norway. Due to the landslide, we were picked up by boat. We visited the landslide site to understand its magnitude and to see first-hand what the consequences may be. This triggered a series of discussions around the liability of infrastructure and what happens when it fails to perform.
We were overwhelmed by the dramatic impact nature has had on this industrial, hard-wearing material and were drawn to its subverted materiality which presents itself as soft and malleable whilst in fact it is rigid and strong.As we see it, these sculptures are performing a duality by being both powerful and vulnerable simultaneously. The playful innocence of the colours invites you to fantasise whilst the bent steel reminds you of the fact that life is precious and fragile.
The colour palette has been sourced from our encounters on Stokkøya: the amber yellow of the chanterelles that we foraged and ate, the mint green of the rope from the boat we arrived on, the fiery orange of the sour sea buck thorn berries, the clay underground that caused the landslide that we picked up and sculpted with, and the fleshy pink colour which represents the femininity of some of the sculptural forms.
Collaborating Artists: : Michael Taiwo, Christopher Pearson, Kirsten Bertelsen and Ingrid Pumayalla
The Landslide Beer
The residency places a strong focus on collaboration and community and the working processes revolve around site specific art making. In collaboration with the local Stokkoya Brewery the residency launches a Stokkoyart Beer every year when a new group of artists arrives. The artists from the previous year has designed the label and in reward the group arriving receives 2 boxes of micro-brewed local beer. This gesture of generosity from both the Stokkoya Brewery and previous participants is the incarnation of the values of the residency and it creates a bond between the artists across the years.