OBSERVED 79ºN

Year

Technique

Size

Exhibited

2014 - 2017

Carborundum, Dry Point, Stencil

From 69 x 99 cm to 498 x 205 cm

Galleri Norske Grafikere, Oslo

Charlottenborg Kunsthal, Spring Exhibition, Copenhagen

Høstutstillingen, Oslo

GraN - Graphic Nordica, Akureyri Kunstmuseum, Iceland  

Bølgen Kulturhus, Larvik

SPENNVIDDE, Rørosmuseet

6th Guanlan Print Biennial, China Printmaking Museum, China

MTG International Print Triennial – Krakow – Falun, Sweden  

BIECTR, The 9th Biennale internationale d’estampe, Canada

National Original Print Exhibition, Bankside Gallery, London 

78°55'N 11°56'E

Ny-Ålesund, located at 79°N on the island of Spitsbergen in Svalbard, has one of the worlds northernmost settlements. From being a mining community, New-Ålesund has developed into a centre for international Arctic research and environmental monitoring. Around 35 people live there in wintertime. During the summer up until 150 scientists may arrive from around 15-20 countries. In addition, several thousand day-trip tourists, arriving with cruise ships, visit Ny-Ålesund each year. Nature here is vulnerable, and over the course of recent years, major changes have taken place. This includes a significant retreat of the glaciers and the disappearance of ice in Kongsfjorden, where Ny-Ålesund is situated.

 

My first visit to Svalbard was in the year 2000. After this I have spent many seasons there, as user of the Artist's cabin the Norwegian Visual Artists Association leases from Kings Bay AS in Ny-Ålesund. Several years I took part in research expeditions. The visits and collaboration with the scientists have resulted in several print exhibitions such as Geoprint and Plankton Portraits. In the series OBSERVED - 79°N my own sketches and photos from experiences and observations in the field form the basis for the prints.

 

In Svalbard, 60% of the land area is covered with ice, and less than 10% has vegetation. The midnight sun appears from 20 April. My fascination with this cold, grand and boundless landscape is difficult to explain. The light, ice, abrupt weather changes, animal life, polar bears, polar history and climate challenges are a part of it. 

Professor Bjørn Jamtveit's text  "On observation and subjective experience" was written for the exhibition.

All Rights Reserved © Ellen Karin Mæhlum / BONO

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