Another winter residency is over and we had a lot of fun hosting our 2019 group! They were 6 international artists from America, Scotland, Japan and South Korea and worked in various art fields: music, drawing, photography, collage and sculpting. This group was exceptionally good at blending into our local community: going to the local swimming pool to drink a lot of coffee with the locals! We also had a blast of a final show in our coffee house the day before they left! Thanks for dropping by the edge of the world to share some creativity and time with us! Below is a small description of all 6 artists.
Goodnight Luisa (Louisianna McCraw) (Scotland)
Louise is a solo dark dream pop songwriter from Edinburgh, Scotland, who fronted a band for 3 years. Louise took the opportunity of the residency to work on her new dark dream pop project (Goodnight Louisa). Carefully combining strong melodies and dismal lyrics on nothing but an old Casio keyboard. One of the tracks she wrote on the trip was shaped by a sampled organ which belonged a local lady in the village. Her new tracks will be released in April 2019.
Check out some of her songs here: https: //www.youtube.com/watch?v=918prbzcZSA&frags=pl%2Cwn
Margaret Byrd (US)
Margaret Byrd lives in Mill Creek, Washington. She is formally trained in photography at the University of Montana. She travels the world and creates, often frozen, installations. Margaret writes the following about her stay at The Westfjords Residency: “My main goal was to extract dye from organic material from the sea and land of Iceland. To that end, I made dyes from seaweed, lichen, cabbage and kale. I used the dye to color fabrics, freeze into ice and pour bases for paper pieces. Much of my work will develop over the next months from what I started in Iceland except for the ice installation which has already been captured by camera and melted.”
Check out more of her work here: https://www.margaretbyrd.com/
Kim Curtis (US)
Kim is a visual artist whose work comments on land-use, environmental stewardship and the ongoing complexities of human interaction with the natural world. She lives in Champaign, Illinois where she also teaches at the University of Illinois in the department of Theatre. During the residency, Kim capitalized on the restrictions of her suitcase to switch modes of working. Normally employing large plywood supports and oil paint, she instead brought a hodgepodge of collected scrap materials and water media for experimentation. Thrilled to also discover an industrial sewing machine upstairs, she set to work cutting, splicing, stitching and rendering quick impressions of the Icelandic landscape.
“Although my painting process often results in the evocation of a place,” Kim comments, "my method is to remain as non-literal as possible throughout an extended and highly experimental period of painting. For this reason, I do not tend to paint on location or "en plein air". Instead, I prefer to observe my environment by hiking, kayaking or otherwise experiencing the landscape and interacting with the local community, then working abstractly with impressions collected in my head."
Having now returned to Illinois, Kim continues to work from the visual material she collected through hiking, snorkeling and chasing the northern lights as well as from the immersion into the wonderful culture of Thingeyri, Reykjavik, the south coast, Icelandic literature, the incredibly friendly, generous locals and the other inspiring artists at the residency.
Check out more of her paintings here: http://www.kimcurtis.net/
Takashi Nakagawa (Japan)
Takashi is a photographer from Kyoto, Japan. He has travelled around the world photographing since 2010 and has come to Iceland every year during the last 5 years. During the February group residency, Takashi photographed local people in every day life situations in the village, as well as combining trees and glaciers in a photo project. He writes the following about his tree-glacier photos: “This project uses double exposure to highlight the delicate relationship between forests and glaciers. These two very different elements have a profound impact on the Icelandic environment. It is my hope that this work gives a voice not only to the climate change crisis in Iceland, but how it can impact the global environment”.
Check out more works here: https://www.takashinakagawa.com/
Sookyung Bae (South Korea)
Sookyung is a painter from South Korea. She draws a variety of paintings for a living, such as materials we could see in our everyday lives or portraits using a wide range of colour. During her residency in Iceland, she made a collection of paintings of chairs that she encountered on her trip around the country. Sookyung writes: “Paintings are also heavily effected by its surroundings. A place far from my workspace, a very foreign and unfamiliar place, but one of the most untouched places of nature, Westfjords, was that environment. Though it may have been just ten days, it was enough for me to take in the environment and make it into a color of my own for my paintings later on. It still feels like the midst of winter and I'm at Þingeyri surrounded by the heavy snow.”
Elaine Weatherby (US)
Elaine is a recent graduate of Oklahoma City University with a BFA in Acting and Minor in Directing. She is originally from Hampton, New Hampshire, but moved to Los Angeles, Ca upon graduation to pursue poetry, acting, and modelling. During the group residency, Elaine wrote a collection of poems. Elaine wrote us: “I just wanted to say, that I enjoyed my time at the residency immensely. I would go back in a heartbeat. The scenery was perfect for writing. The fast pace life I live in LA is good for a writer's inspiration, but the natural beauty and peacefulness of Iceland is the perfect escape. My time there with the other amazing residents and family will always be something I cherish. I hope to come back again!”
Check out more about her here: https://www.elaineweatherby.com/