Art house Messen, Ålvik, Norway
Kunstnarhuset Messen, Ålvik, Norge

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Illustration:”Twilight”  Atmospheric winter nightview over the factory in Ålvik, January 2020 , made by Natalia Mikhalchuk from St. Petersburg during her stay at KHMessen.

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

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

KHMessen Team

December 22, 2020
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Vanessa Rosalia Larsen

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.)

November 15, 2020
Vanessa Rosalia Larsen

`Acausal connections and synergies of wholeness in chance events`

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.

Collection of Time
Elemental Bodies
Fruits of the Earth
November 4, 2020
`Acausal connections and synergies of wholeness in chance events`

‘Messen ‘Round – Piano Improv #1’

KH Messen Arthouse – Hardanger Fjord – Oct 31st Halloween Night…

Notes on Piano Improv #1 – A New Start…

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.

Lazerus Winter – Oct 31st (Halloween Night) 2020

November 1, 2020
‘Messen ‘Round – Piano Improv #1’

A dance of the day

Our daily life seems to be gone, but perhaps this is the moment to discover another daily routine? Bergen based dance artist Yohei Hamada invites you to find your new morning routine and start the day with his daily short dance video letters.
Don’t panic, and take initiative of your life. Even in an unprecedented situation, there might be a lot of seeds of your daily life sprouting around you.

“A dance of the day” by our guest-artist Yohei Hamada

October 21, 2020
A dance of the day

Sandra Kruisbrink

NOW at Gallery Getekend in Heerenveen The Netherlands, the solo exhibition of SANDRA KRUISBRINK with recent drawings from Ålvik Norway !

Exhibition period: 20-9-2020 t|m 15-11-2020

SANDRA KRUISBRINK stayed in artist residency KHMessen in Ålvik, in the winter of 2019. The nature (fjord, mountains, forests) and the silence had a great attraction and were a source of inspiration. Sandra could roam around to photograph and draw. The exhibition includes a number of these drawings and a series that later emerged in her own studio.

She herself says about her work: “While drawing I filter the photographed images, edit the photo and dissect the image in such a way that it sometimes almost disappears. In this way I look for the limit of what I can leave out. I work almost meditatively in drawing an endless amount of lines, dots and minimal traces back to my memory. The silence and inaccessibility thus become subjects ”.

SANDRA KRUISBRINK participated in various exhibitions in the field of contemporary drawing. Her work was previously shown in the opening exhibition GETEKEND. She lives and works in Amsterdam.

Galerie Getekend
Stationsstraat 6
8441 AX Heerenveen

Lariks Ålvik, 2019, pigment ink, pastel and pencil on paper, 97 x 72,5 cm
Lariks Ålvik, 2019, pigment ink, pastel and pencil on paper, 97 x 72,5 cm
Pinus Sylvestris Krossfuru 2, 2020, tempera and pencil on paper, 29,5 x 42 cm
September 21, 2020
Sandra Kruisbrink

Johanne Teigen

At KHMessen I started my new interest to develop my work process in natural surroundings. I investigated the challenge of spaces where there already exists elements. The rocks at Hardangerfjorden became my starting point, where I moved from there and up towards Roaldsdalen and back again in the garden of KHMessen. While I was in these surroundings, I created a different awareness of my body, my perceptual capabilities, and my mental and physical constraints together with the paper and textile material I used. It was a reconnection for me.

(Johanne Teigen, Norway, was staying at KHMessen for a one-month-residency in August 2020) 

September 4, 2020
Johanne Teigen

Selection 2021

The selection committee at Kunstnarhuset Messen has now made the selection for 2021! That has been a very difficult decision this time all because of COVID19.

Because of the lockdown we have postponed the awarded working periods of all the artists from April, May, June, July, August and September this year to the next residency year 2021. Meaning, that we only had a few places left to offer to new artists, only for the months that were left over in 2021. That was a difficult decision to made with over 100 applications all of them from highly qualified artists.

We are pleased to announce the selection of 2021:

New selected artists:
Koen Kievits (the Netherlands)
Georgina Louise Campbell (Australia)
Danielle Klebes (USA)
Chih Hua Huang (Taiwan)
Andrew Neumann (USA)
Heidrun Rathgeb (Germany)
Jan Kromke (Germany)
Ina Loitzl (Austria)
Maja Spasova (UK)
Molly Joyce (USA)
Lynn Cazabon (USA)
Olia Fedorova (Ukraine)
Son Seon Kyung (South Korea)
Kuenlin Tsai (Taiwan)
Tero Juuti (Finland)
Ninet Kaijser (the Netherlands)
Efrat Merin (Israel)
Lucia Veronesi (Italy)
Paul Burn (USA/Germany)
Franzisca Siegrist (Swiss/Spain)
Christopher Eidtang (Norway)

Postponed artists from 2020 to 2021:
Julie Rafalski (Poland/USA)
Vardi Bobrow (Israel)
Kate Finegan (USA)
Marie Bink van Vollenhoven (the Netherlands)
Beth Frey (Canada)
Noor van der Brugge (the Netherlands)
Doris Marten (Germany)
Sky Kim (USA)
Kerstin Mörsch (Germany)
Hellen Abma (the Netherlands)
Christopher Squier (USA)
Anna Pangalou (Greece)
Ben Giles (UK)
Romane Armand (Belgium)
Scardoni Eléonore (France)
Bettina Henkel (Germany)
Marloes Staal (the Netherlands)
Timo Hofacker (the Netherlands)
Narumi Hori / Yuhi Kazama (Japan)

(illustration is made by Gregory Gan, during his stay at KHMessen)

August 19, 2020
Selection 2021

Kit Kelen

20140719_172406Christopher (Kit) Kelen is a well known Australian poet, scholar and visual artist, and Professor of English at the University of Macau, where he has taught Creative Writing and Literature for the last fourteen years. Volumes of his poetry have been published in Chinese, Portuguese, Italian, Swedish and Filipino languages. Japanese and Indonesian editions are currently in preparation

Kit Kelen stayed for 2 months in Messen, last summer, together with the artist Carol Archer.


Here are some of his poems and paintings created during his residence in Messen.


Boulders of Ålvik

must each have once tumbled into position
a river of ice ground these pebbles out
toys tall gods have tossed aside

now slugs cross fat with the season of life
and bitumen creeks pass

boulders of Ålvik each mossed to its spot
are alive with the place
snow knows them – and the running stream

they are bracken swept, fern beset
beside steep uphill climb
flowers have said summer over them

it’s here gulls perch to sing a sea
they fish fjord and balance boulders
here in my antipodes

runes in them are deeper than reading

in their few dry moments someone sat
saw turf roofs rise and crooked chimneys
long ships launch, clouds slant

carpet of needles then snow’s quilt
white as winter’s black all night

the lapping’s all below
and there’s more foliage sidling up
or tucking under lichen

once in a while a tree will try one
suggesting soil enough
that’s something like a royal reign

lightning strikes a dynasty
or nations fall and rise
there is a core of knowing though
the ice will come again


tree, rock, cloud and me

trees become rocks
and rocks turn tree
too slow to grow

slugs will be roots
if they look too hard

leaves blow off
a breeze

clouds stand idly
they are the slowest
thing in the sky

and you’ll
find yourself


tre, stein, skyer og meg

(Nynosk translation by Bjørn Otto Walevik)

tre vert stein
og stein vert tre
veks for seint sneglar

vert til røter
viss dei ser for hardt

blad bles av
ein bris

uverksame skyer

tingen på himmelen

og du vil
deg sjølv borte


on such a day

on the day
you hang your bedding out the window
and a towel to dry on top
air the stairs with a wide open door

on such a day
your hear hoses
passing gardens

old folk sit on a bench
to soak a dry wall
make petrichor

with purposeful stride
the one with the rake – leaf warrior
and even that’s painted bright

bicycle goes by with a nod
it’s the age of the helmet yet

on such a day
yes there are clouds
they’re thinking about it

there’s a sun
reluctant to set
afternoon’s evening
and evening goes on all night

it is the day of porpoises passing
not so ostentatious though
one fin at a time
turn by like a wheel

it’s glass
and the kraken
lies deeper than thought

blue tractor gets socks wet
bringing home the boat

oak and birch and aspen
pine and fir and spruce
each of them older than dreaming
still to learn their names

a toilet grows flowers
on the front lawn
a bicycle too

on such a day
one goes hunting for lines
they’re found
and out in the open

there’s mowing the lawn
and addressing one’s flowers

they bare their chests
who whisper engines
and with whom engines speak

moss has a thirst
on such a day
man washes his rock
and after, beer
as prescribed

it is true I’m pursued
by what isn’t a bee
by what I’d call a march fly
and I’d be wrong

on such a day
it’s the idea of dinner
draws indoors

the book hasn’t been written
to hold all one could do
on just such a day

I wonder if anyone can remember
precisely when peace was declared


at Messen

snow stands for true mountains
a midsummer sentry

a smoky man tends barbeque
such are the voices of the picnic garden
a fjord is part of the picture too

gathered like wildflowers
we ourselves are a summer

pick cherries every ripening day

the rain hasn’t come yet
but here we are,
over the rainbow
already planning for after


at Messen
rumble is the road
or thunder
men’s laughter
the factory’s dinner going down
the kraken waking
earth gives a shake
a train but very far
nobody knows what


it’s the gods in everything
like to make us guess
a crow says no, flies off
and everything’s still here

November 21, 2014
Kit Kelen