Intern open studio
During the whole Corona lockdown time KHMessen has had the pleasure to enjoy the stay of three guests that had to expand their stay to three months. All three artists have enjoyed their time at Messen during the lockdown. It felt like a safe place to be and within the restriction they still had the freedom to cycle, swim and take walks in the surrounding, next to their intensive studio work.
One of the three, Marion Blume left Messen a week ago and now Olivia and Greg are at the end of their stay. So yesterday we held our monthly open studio with a selective group of visitors.
Olivia Brelsford-Massey (UK) showed her process by presenting a short video with animation inspired by foundings in and around the house and the magic of the fjords. And by showing small drawings of thoughts and playful assets for her video and objects in her studio.
Gregory Gan (Russia nd Canada) read an short story to us in his studio about the existence of his watercolors and how they are tangled with his life. We listened to his story surrounded by his beautiful watercolors and video works.
66 associations for 66 days
Closer to Home
I came to KHMessen to investigate dwelling places as social entities. I was born in Moscow, in the former Soviet Union, and when I was still a child, my family migrated to France, and then Canada. From my earliest memories, well into my adult life, and across several countries, I lived in high-rise apartments. In my artwork, I wanted to capture the ambiguity of feeling at once intimately connected, and anonymous amongst one’s neighbours.
I decided to recreate every house in which I lived using watercolour paintings. I would create a collection culminating in a painting of my latest “residence”: KHMessen. Besides the watercolours, I wanted to make a multimedia collage based on the outlines of these homes—a kind of Frankenhome—which would then be laid onto a large canvas to create a cyanotype, an architectural blueprint. This blueprint would be combined with video projections, soundscapes, watercolour sketches, and relief prints. The theoretical concept for which I sought a visual metaphor was an image schema, a visual, linguistic, embodied, and historical pattern the mind conjures to give us an understanding of the world, and arguably, forms the basis for our identity. My proposal aimed to visualize how each person’s unique history is intimately connected to their experience of lived places, and to other human beings.
Shortly after I arrived to KHMessen, the first cases of COVID-19 virus began to emerge in Norway. As the situation intensified over the next several weeks, the Norwegian government enacted ever-stricter measures to control the pandemic. The situation brought into stark contrast my privilege of living in a remote village—I was able self-distance by going on hikes in the mountains, or bike rides along the fjord—and the lockdowns my friends and relatives faced across urban centres around the world. Around this time, I was painting my former home in Toronto—a twenty-two storey apartment block where I briefly lived with my mother and grandmother some years ago. As my paintbrush gave shape to the neat rows of apartment cubicles, I began to fret about how my mother and grandmother would need to negotiate interactions with their neighbours: every door handle, every pressed elevator button now represented a possible vector of transmission. I began making frantic phone calls organizing food deliveries, checking up on elderly relatives, and trying to convince them to stay home.
The state of emergency catalyzed my thoughts about what I found truly important: paradoxically, as ever-stricter social distancing measures came into effect, I felt ever-closer to people across ever-widening physical distances. As we experienced isolation, fear, anxiety, or boredom each in our particular ways, friends, colleagues, and family began finding new ways of connecting on social media. At that moment, having painted thirteen out of a planned thirty former domiciles, and having drafted video projections onto a blank canvas, I placed the project I tentatively titled Closer to Home on hold. Besides, I reasoned that watercolours would make an ideal pastime for the two-week self-quarantine I would have to undergo at my next destination, wherever that may be. As booked flights, festivals, conferences, and teaching engagements were predictably cancelled, or rerouted online, I found myself much more amenable to small changes, finding that I needed to muster my resources to prepare for the big ones.
I am now working to establish connections with other artists who find themselves in similarly precarious situations. Amongst colleagues working in art, film, and anthropology, we launched an Artist Support Network (fragilematters.wordpress.com), which aims to provide support to artists adapting their modes of creative production to changing circumstances. We began hosting online gatherings, where we discuss how to respond to the crisis most effectively as artists, and as community members. Using an online platform, we are also pooling together resource for artists, filmmakers, and educators, who are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
My work has also taken on a much more personal quality. I started recording video letters, largely unedited and improvised, which I began sending out to relatives and friends. I bring my friends along on hikes, bike rides, or on daily routines. The rawness and immediacy of these tele-messages feels authentic. It is, perhaps, a way that I intimately connect the experience of a lived place to other human beings.
Gregory Gan (Ålvik 03.04.2020)
Survival tips part 2
survival tips part 2:
– how to listen to rocks
– making bread from clouds
– how to knit from seaweed
– and ask for seaweeds’ permission
– creating anything from dust
– and other waste.
– rewriting old myths
– drawing intentions from sticks
– ways to locate electricity in the earth.
– ways to befriend water
– ways to decolonize
– ways to sew seeds.
– making fabrics from shadows
– boats from syllables
– music from canned beans
– friends with grass.
Open Call 2021
Deadline: 30 April 2020
Call for entries
Residency KHMessen in Norway
Applications are now open for a working period in 2021 at KHMessen in Norway!
The Residency Program provides space and time for artists. We welcome visual artists, writers, composer/musicians, performance artists at any stage of their careers who are interested in exploring and expanding their work in a unique and supportive environment. KHMessen consists of artistically crafted and unique living and studio spaces. Time spans are individually based – 1 to 3 months, accommodating 4 to 6 artists at a time.
KHMessen is situated in the small town Ålvik surrounded by mountains and very close to the fjord.
KHMessen AiR program is particularly beneficial to those who find it restorative to live in a community environment surrounded by the natural beauty of the mountains and fjords.
The spaces are versatile, providing residents with opportunities to connect and interact with other artists in the house and with the Ålvik community. Also to create and participate with the monthly Open studio and artist talks or house concerts.
Please note: Residency periods are for full calendar month(s) and we ask a fee of 1000 Norwegian Krone per month.
Application period is from 1th March until 31 May 2021
You can find our online application form on our website under: How to apply
Open studio February
We have the following guest artist doing a working period at KHMessen in February:
Mikiko Fujita is a visual artist and illustrator from Japan based in Germany. She is receiver of the prestigious “Bologna Illustrators Exhibition Award” in 2014. Her drawing and paintings are made with her favourite materials; pastel, pencil and oil and tell about her nocturnal worlds.
Jaya Stenquist is a writer based in Minneapolis. Her poetry has appeared in Hobart, West Branch, and Mid American among others. Stenquist was a 2018-2019 poetry fellow in the Loft Mentor Series and honorable mention in fiction. She will read from her new work at the Open studio evening.
Jasper Llewellyn is an artist, researcher and facilitator, based in UK and working primarily in Performance Art and time-based media. His work stems from a basic interest in the border between art and everyday life, alongside other recurring themes of speed, invisibility and ‘ways of looking’.
Annette Cook from Australia is an award winning printmaker who has work in major state collections around Australia including the National Gallery in Canberra. Her subject matter explores the natural world, in particular the cross species communication possibilities of the marks and patterns of Australian native animals.
We hope to see you at the 26th !
KHMessen Team !
Open Studio January
We like to invite to the first Open Studio of 2020 at KHMessen.
The artists that have a working period at our residency are:
Natalia Mikhalchuk, illustrator from Russia
Jaya Stenquist, writer from USA
Sandra Blichert, visual artist from Danmark living in Norway
During the evening our writer-in-residence Jaya is giving a short writing workshop for the visitors!
I´ve had a fantastic residency at KHMessen this year !
A little bit warmer than expected, Ho Ho Ho !
It is a strange feeling that I now have to leave this lovely place knowing that I have to go back to the dark and arctic North and to my daily job.
This house really fits me, just looking at the colors…
I will really miss Hans with his introduction talk, chatting with Simone and the kids running through the house.
I got so much done here; worked on creative writing of some poems, made a fantastic new painting, did some sculpting, package design, wrote a new piece for the piano and an orchestra. Oh… and I wrote the first 3 chapters of my biography.
All these creative people around me in the house made it all super dynamic.
I got addicted to cold water swimming in the fjord ! I am not the first one so it seems!
I did some gardening and planted Christmas trees and my reindeer helped Hans to cut the grass.
I lost weight too and I didn’t even miss the candy !
Everybody in Ålvik said hello to me as if they knew me already !
I definitely will apply again in a few years. Maybe I choose summer than.
Santa Claus Dec 2019
The selections for 2020
We like to announce the selected artists for a residency at KHMessen in 2020:
Natalia Mikhalchuk – Russia
Jaya Stenquist – USA
Sandra Blichert – Danmark
Annette Cook – Australia
Mikiko Fujita – Japan
Gregory Gan- Canada
David Clark – Canada
Olivia Brelsford – Massey – UK
Marion Blume – Germany
Julie Rafalski – UK
Alexandra Jegerstedt – Norway
Kate Finegan – USA
Luke Conroy / Anne Fehres – The Netherlands / Austria
Nadine Sander-Green – Canada
Vardi Bobrow – Israel
Marie Bink van Vollenhoven – The Netherlands
Beth Frey – Canada
Noor van der Brugge – The Netherlands
Sky Kim – USA
Kerstin Mörsch – Germany
Bettina Henkel – Germany
Vanessa Larsen – Norway
Doris Martens – Germany
Sky Kim – USA
Kerstin Mörsch – Germany
Hellen Abma – The Netherlands
Christopher Squier – USA
Anna Pangalou – Greece
Marloes Staal / Timo Hofacker – The Netherlands
Anna Pangalou – Greece
Ben Giles – UK
Johanne Teigen – Norway
Romane Armand – Belgia
Scardoni Eléonore – Belgia
Narumi Hori / Yuhi Kazama – Japan
Moa Johansson – Sweden
Dafna Staretz – Israel
Ingrid Pasmans -The Netherlands
Christoven Tan – Singapore
Beatrice Alvestad Lopez – Norway
Judith Vanistendael – Belgia
Maria Hanl – Austria
Agnieszka Foltyn / Per Stian Monsås – Poland / Norway