Ninet Kaijser from the Netherlands was one of our last guest of this year for KHMessen. From now the artist residency goes into hibernation until the first of January when the new guests will arrive again.
Ninet Kaijser makes drawings with color pencils. Her drawings reminded us so much of Norwegian landscapes that it suprised us that she had never been here before. Just before Ninet left for the Netherlands again we paid her one last visit at her studio to admire the large landscape drawings she has been working on this month.
The typical earthly colors and the absence of humans the landscapes make you feel as if you are part of something huge looking out over water and mountains. You can almost feel the crispy air you often have on a mountain top and the smell of moist moss hangs in the air around you.
The drawings are inspired on the walks Ninet did in the past month. Where she merged with the Norwegian landscape. Sometimes overwhelmed by its beauty. In het studio she revives this feeling and forms the landscape that has been shaped in her mind by memory, smell, sight and inner thoughts. With this she creates a new land-shape.
Messen Art Park From April 2021 project Messen Art Park has started! During this month 3 artworks will be created and placed in the park located next to the residency. The first 3 artists selected to develop an artwork for the park are: Gabriel Johann Kvendseth (Norway), Aud Bækkelund (Norway) and Simone Hooymans (NL/Norway).
It’s been quite a special time as I let go of 3 years of focused work on the creation and release of the album ‘Hidden Soul of the Fjord” (which I co-created with brilliant singer and composer Heidi Torsvik) and start to imagine new works of music, poetry and novel writing that are now utterly unimpeded by any need to return to any previous work. Tabula rasa…
Thanks to the newly burgeoning friendship with visual artist Simone Hooymans (who did the wonderfully eclectic video for the single ‘Trees That Whisper’ from the new album, I was extended an offer to come and live in the depths of the exquisite Hardanger Fjord where Simone and her husband Hans oversee the organization of a large, comfortable work/living facility on the water’s edge which is called KH Messen (Messen Arthouse). The facility is offered as a place to create in every imaginable artistic medium for creatives from every part of the world (including Norway) who apply to spend time working on or exploring new projects.
Simone and Hans have been exceedingly gracious and along with their two sweet sons, they keep things flowing, functional and quite hospitable in every way one might hope for. Bottom line, it’s just a great ambience for creating in an absolutely wickedly wonderful part of the world. I have a flat here and also my own work room, which, in my case all overlook the fjord with expansive views. I’m gazing down miles of fjord as I write. I would highly recommend that any artist who is looking for beauty, focus and creative possibilities, consider applying for the KH Messen opportunity. Even creatives from as close as Bergen can come here for a break from the city life.
I have been doing extensive research for my new Detective Novel “Chance’s Flywheel” which will be based in Oslo and take place throughout Western Norway, and have finally felt clear enough with the nature of the circumstances for the story that I have now begun writing the novel itself. Around this and in my room here at Messen Arthouse I also have a piano and can play and write and write and play and this has allowed me to just be at an acoustic piano for the first time in 10 months and simply freestyle and do improvisation. I have been recording on my iPad (just sitting it on top of the piano) and have about 12 “in the moment” improv sessions now. It’s so good to just play without specific thought or plan, just play to play.
As part of this, I now had the idea to begin sharing some of these ‘Hardanger Improvs’ which I’ll call ‘Messsen ‘Round’ #1’… Again, these will just be freestyle and are opportunities to share new ideas without concern of perfection or production.. a chance to just be naked with a piano and then share that experience without concern of critique or ideas being taken. This is music without production and I am someone who can spend a year on “production.”
There seems to be a seed concept that I hit upon and am playing around with on this first improv and where it may go eventually (if anywhere) is still up for grabs…
So here is ‘Messen ‘Round – Hardanger Impro #1’ – captured live on acoustic piano and an iPad Microphone App – simple and raw… It’s about 4mins… Have a listen if your so inclined.
The year 2020 has been a strange for all of us. But despite of all the changes and lockdowns happening in the world we can look back at 2020 as a good KHMessen year with guest artists from all over the world and from our own country Norway. During the lockdown in Norway we had guests from USA, Germany, England and Canada staying at KHMessen. They were happy that they had an extended residency at Messen and we all made the best of that time. Others, that supposed to begin their residency time at Messen during the lockdown were less fortunate. They will have a second chance and we hope to welcome them in 2021!
We feel lucky in Ålvik, that we are still safe and that the virus has not reached us so far. But we cannot look into the future. We are careful and follow the government regulations about the quarantaine time you will have to go through when entering Norway and before traveling further to Messen. This is a barrier for many international artists to travel to Norway now.
We truly wish for the situation to change soon because also for the new year we have exciting projects on our agenda and new guest artists coming to stay at KHMessen. So let the New Year begin !
We wish all the artists, supporters and good friends of Kunstnarhuset Messen
Situated between the Hardangerfjord and grand mountains, Kunstnarhuset Messen provided incomparable scenery. It could not have been a better setting to undertake my nature-focused project and I spent a significant amount of time exploring the natural surroundings for inspiration.
The project centered around the concept of imprints- ones left on nature. The process of working was therefore an organic exploration of medium, techniques and subject-matter.
The re-use of materials was an important factor in my process in order to highlight the necessity for environmental sustainability. I printed with dead flowers and drew on paper and prints that had been damaged or leftover from previous projects.
Mountains surrounding the fjord were used as subject-matter. Their outlines were sketched and applied to hand-drawn grids that had been developed to incorporate a more fluid design. Using various shading techniques resulted in patterns that ultimately took on a form of their own.
(Vanessa Rosalia Larsen was guest artist at KHMessen in August 2020.)
KH Messen, Ålvik by Beatrice Alvestad Lopez (Guest artist August 2020)
The title ` Acausal connections and synergies of wholeness in chance events` draws upon the notion of togetherness described by Carl.G Jung where fluidity and magic resonate in chance events and synergies as I worked site-specifically influenced by the unforeseen and spontaneous by placing myself as body within the environment using local matter, organic residue, driftwood and found objects in assemblages on site and in studio.
The Ålvik-totems were made up of found material from the basement of KH Messen and consisted of left-over residue from local factories and institutions such as glass tubes, pink bags for logs, navy ropes, beads and textiles crafting an alternative material language of place addressing sustainability, trans-local temporalities and hydro-feminism.
These assemblages and outdoor rituals open up a dialogue of environmental and local historical connotation in relation to chance elements, synchronicities and myth found in debris and objects. By working outdoor I relate to elemental forces, the non-human, ancestral narratives and belonging in uprooted time of crisis and climate anxiety. The ritualistic process of listening, walking, observing and touch establish a reciprocal connection to previous life spans and origins.
In processing the environment inward reflections take place in form of philosophical thought, spiritual affinities, approximations of anthropology and deep-ecology. I position my bodily self in nature in order to learn from nature, reconnect, heal and nurture earth emotions creating an alternative language for a new world.