One of the most fun things about hosting a group residency is seeing how individuals from different backgrounds and disciplines react to and find inspiration in the local landscape and atmosphere, and the relative solitude of Þingeyri. This group residency was no different, with many participants using the landscape in their work to reflect on personal experiences, or creating art that represented their unique interpretation of the landscape itself. Artists in the group residency worked in music and multimedia performance, creative writing, painting and drawing, textiles, and video arts, plus we were joined by participants from The Blue Bank and Húsið in Patreksfjörður. And it may be that this group residency produced the first music video to feature Þingeyri as a setting! Read on to learn more about the artists who participated and the projects they worked on during their 10 day stay in the Westfjords:
Chelsea Wolf is a writer, singer-songwriter, and graduate student studying Creative Writing at The New School in New York City. During her stay at the Westfjords Residency, she worked on her senior thesis, a coming-of-age memoir titled “Strong Female Lead.” Thingeyri offered a much needed break from the nonstop hustle of the Big Apple. She was able to throw herself entirely into her craft and the lack of distractions allowed her to open her mind in new ways. The beauty of the landscape also inspired Wolf and her fellow resident Laura Durban to film a music video for her song “Rewind.” Performing under the name Noie, her latest EP, “Blue Devil Fits,” can be found on iTunes, Spotify, BandCamp, or your favorite music streaming service.
Watch the video Chelsea and Laura created in Þingeyri:
And listen to Chelsea's new EP here: https://soundcloud.com/noiemusic
Seo Hye Lee
Seo Hye Lee is a London based illustrator who uses her own sonic experience as inspiration. Her work investigates the reinterpretation of her sound diary which began as a series of abstract pattern drawings. Her intention was to experiment with textiles - particularly in the form of weaving. During the Westfjords Residency, she made a series of weavings based on her encounters with sound and fellow artist residents in the unusual environment of Thingeyri. The quiet setting of Thingeyri provided a great environment to investigate and explore the sonic elements and therefore experiment with weaving in different forms.
SHHE is a musician and producer from Dundee, Scotland. During the residency she began work on ‘Dýrafjörður’, a new project which explores solitude and isolation using voice, a synthesiser and sound and video recordings taken in the Westfjords. When she returns to Scotland, SHHE is presenting the project at Summerhall in Edinburgh.
Check out more of her work using the link below:
And watch the video for her new single here:
Laura Durban is a visual artist from Germany, working with performance, video and photography. Since living in Reykjavik for a year, Iceland became her most important source of inspiration in terms of nature and the creative international art scene. During her stay in the Westfjordresidency she worked on videos for her graduation from the art academy in Karlsruhe alongside analogue photography and a music video for fellow artist in residence Chelsea Wolf aka Noie.
Over the course of five weeks Laura Durban collected video footage, directed, filmed and edited three art videos and started to outline a fourth upcoming video work which will involve abstract storytelling. The videos are embedded in the context of social constructs, shown through the lens of the female body in nature being exposed to harsh weather conditions and the artists attempt to connect with the icelandic landscape.
As a trained painter, Laura Durban sees her work in video and photography as more than the simple capture of a moment on film: While editing with overlaying effects the artists connects elements and researches the relation of landscapes and the human body. She uses various processes to infuse a sense of impression into her work, and through this crosses the borders of clear reality into parallel realms of atmosphere, colours and shapes, she creates atmospheric worlds - “Stimmungswelten” - that in an almost meditative manner are able to attract as well as challenge the viewer.
For more visit:
http://lauradurban.portfoliobox.net (Homepage under construction)
Mary Carmen Fernandez Alvarez
Mary is a painter, originally from Spain and now living in Norway. She came to the residency to work on personal painting and drawing projects, and expressed her experience about the residency as follows:
"Sometimes we need to run fast and really far away looking for the fresh air, the bright light and the silence to fill all the gaps existing in our minds, hearts and souls. In my case I found myself attached for few days to this magnetic place.
I used [the residency] as a small therapy to leave behind stormy feelings which were inhabiting inside me as result of my last job experience. I traveled there to recover part of my missed energy and motivation.
During these days I have been painting some small parts of my memories and finding comfort, peace and happiness between my watercolours in the middle of an infinite and powerful white landscape.
It was a short, but pleasant experience through I was able to see that it is never too late to stop in the way and change the direction."