ARNA- where Kirke and Vincent met art and nature

After arriving to Harlösa in Sweden on Wednesday we were welcomed by Kerstin (manager of residencies in ARNA). She took us around the Avian Kingdom (area full of birds and wonderful nature). We got to know some very interesting facts and stories about the villages and the area itself (how it was during the ice age covered with ice and how the villages moved because of the land reform etc).

IMG_20131023_164901The exhibiton spaces of ARNA 

In the evening we were accompanied by the local artist Arnold. We had a dinner full of discussions with Arnold, Kerstin and Victor (Kerstin’s son). We talked about the project, impact of residencies on local communities and the possible overall outcome of the project. Late at night Kerstin’s husband arrived and opened the world of clocks for Kirke.

IMG_20131023_184537The dinner with Victor, Arnold and Kerstin

In the morning we continued interviewing locals and got some very good ideas on why residencies are good for the local community. We had a wonderful interview with a very nice local Ulf who welcomed us at his home.

IMG_20131024_083926Ulf and Kirke having a talk

After visiting Ulf we had the possibility of visiting Arnold’s studio and take a look at his work. The sun had also come out for a change and the light at the studio was golden.

IMG_20131024_090325Arnold’s studio

IMG_20131024_090815Kirke and Arnold having a talk

Around noon we drove to Lund to visit Trans Europe Halls (a big organisation where Creative Center Carnation and Not Quite are members) headquarters. We had a lovely meal with Anaid (communication manager) and two interns. We had an old printing press that was waiting to get home. With the help of others we got the press on board and started driving back to Kapellskär.

IMG_20131024_121624The press is ready for the ride home

We arrived at the port about 5 minutes before the registartion was closed and got on the boat. On Thursday morning after driving 3500 km we were back in Estonia. Wonderful trip with amazing people and places!

L/R- left and right through the mountains in Suldal

Tuesday morning began with waking up among the incredible Norwegian mountains and sheep. We spent the night at an old farm house from the 19th century. After walking down the hill and saying hello to the sheep we enjoyed the company of L/R’s manager Gunhild and his father. Soon we were accompanied by Sarah- an artist from Canada doing her residency.

IMG_20131022_121349The farm house where we had the pleasure to stay at

After getting some proper clothing from Gunhild’s father we took the hike (Norwegian hike!) up to the residency house. Sarah showed us the way and in 30 minutes we could see the amazing isolated house with a magnificent view.

 

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The way up

IMG_20131022_104248The amazing view

IMG_20131022_104649Kirke and Sarah in front of the residency house

We were welcomed to see the house from the inside. Sarah is doing a collaboration project with another Canadian artist Brenna. We got to take a look at what they had been doing for the last couple of weeks and talked about their fights with sheep to get the apples before the animals eat them.

IMG_20131022_110702Kirke having a talk with Sarah and Brenna

The house is well renovated with a kitchen, a living room and three bedrooms. There is electricity and the water comes from a small creek just nearby. The view is breathtaking.

IMG_20131022_110618Some wonderful art by Sarah

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As this trip has been quite full of adventures another one was waiting for us. When climbing down the mountain we managed to get off the track. It took us some time to get down through the slippery rocks and leaves but finally we made it.

 

 
Kirke on the way down

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After leaving Suldal we started driving to Stavanger through the unforgettable mountains. Four hours later we were already in front of Rogaland Art Center where we were welcomed by Geir who showed us around. There happend to be an Estonian exhibition opening in two weeks at the center. We were invited to have dinner with the team making the exhibition happen (many Estonian artists mong them) in a place called Tou Scene. The building was an old brewery and now welcomes to enjoy all different kinds of cultural activites (concerts, fairs, exhibitions etc).

Tou Scene

 

IMG_20131022_183914Kirke and geir having a talk in Rogaland Art Center

IMG_20131022_193822The dinner 

After the fulfilling meal we said goodbye to Geir and the others. Then we started one of the most difficult rides of my life and made it through rain and wind to ARNA in Harlösa at 16.00 Wednesday. Now there are 2600 kilometres behind us and some more ahead.

The day when the mountains almost got us

We have now reached L/R in Norway- a place beyond imagination. Once you take a moment and step outside your everyday life to see magical places like this- you know that life is a valuable tool that needs to be used often and in the best possible way. Yesterday we were reminded about the power of nature and the value of life.

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It all started yesterday morning after leaving Fengersfors in Sweden. While listening to some good music from the cds and talking about life with Vincent. We noticed at one point that something had changed. It was here. The almighty winter.

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At first we were amazed by the magnificent views of the mountains. As it started snowing more heavily Kirke got a bit concerned about the fact that we still had summer tires (quite flat ones) and the more higher we went, the steeper the canyons seemed. At one point we followed the GPS to take us through the mountains and almost made it to the top of  a small hill. Then the car had no touch with the ground anymore- the breaks didn’t work, the first gear trick didn’t work and the car just didn’t stop going backwards. I got very anxious but managed to turn the car sideways so it wouldn’t just gather some more speed and go downhill. At the same time she put on the handbreak and tried to do a 180 with the sliding car.

SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERAWe managed not to get smashed into a tree or a rock and didn’t end up in the steep sideways. But we certainly were stuck. Fortunately we had a car just behind us and even though they had winet tires they couln’t ride up. Right away we experienced some Norwegian kindness. Mark Puglisi, a local, made some phone calls and asked if someone could help to get us out. He also described seeing the car lift from one side and he thought that we would start rolling. Luckily that didn’t happen.

After waiting for some hours we got Mark’s friend Esdov Skori to help us out. The hole time our biggest hope was that we could drive on with the car and once they pulled the car out, the dream came true.

The car seemed to be okay and we could continue our trip. I also managed to fall quite heavily while going to the car and our camera was broken (we’ll try to make pictures with our phones now).

SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERAVincent eating crisps IN the car despite the delicate situation…

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As we knew that there might be some more snow and we had to get here somehow we went to a gas station and bought some real tyre chains (plus I asked the not-english-speaking-guy at the store show me how they need to be used). So after a 12 hour trip we made it to L/R in total darkness and woke up to find unimaginable beauty.

The amazing Not Quite

Today we explored the magical Not Quite. The morning started with a visit to the director of Not Quite- Sara. We had a very interesting interview about the residencies, local community and the organisation aswell. After that we drove to Not Quite and met some artists, locals, machines and buildings. We explored the different exhibitions and even got to do a bit of art ourselves.

Invidualism vs collectivismIndidualism vs Collectivism: “Put your money where your heart is”: a really cool idea

The story behind Not Quite. There is an art college in the village next to Fengersfors and about 12 years ago students from the college came and started renting some spaces from the old paper factory. Nowadays the organisation has 47 members (artists from different fields) and they rent large spaces from the owner of the factory. It still has a lot of old machines and is one of the only places in Sweden where you can actually follow the process of making paper from the beginning (the machines don’t work but you can follow the line of making the paper). There are a lot of different studios (ceramics, blacksmithing, woodworking, photo studio etc) so I would describe this place as an artist’s heaven. Around every corner you can find an enormous machine on some really cool art so it really is a paradise in the middle of woods.

SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERAOne of the factory houses

Artists shopShop where the artists sell some crafts they made

Some of the people we met. After visiting Sara we had the chance of meeting a local baker called Deb. She showed us how the bread is made and told the story how her dream has come true. She is from England and visited Sweden about 20 years ago and wanted to move here. It took her almost 15 years to actually move to Sweden and now her dream to work as a baker has been fulfilled.

SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERA Deb showing us the wonders of making and baking bread

We also met a ceramic artist Annie who has been in Not Quite for years now. One of the most beautiful quotes about art residencies of today is from her: “To get people to come here from other parts of the world actually gets the world here.”

SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERAKirke and Annie having a talk about the art residents

There are 6 blacksmiths in Not Quite and to your surprise two of them are women (Ulrika and Jessica). We had the chance of meeting both of them and actually making some metalwork ourselves. This was really awesome and Kirke is seriously thinking about becoming an artist after this experience.

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“The Paruness” by Jessica (To see the original portrait)                         Vincent learning new skills

(Vincent still can’t understand how one can survive when it gets even colder:)

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Vincent’s favourite- the fireplace

Some examples from the art exhibitions.

SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERA The old machines and new art

SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERA Kirke’s favourite

SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERAWonderful flowers

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  Self portrait by Jessica

 

 

 

 

 

Our greatest thanks definitely goes to the Hallberg family (Karl, Cajsa and their wonderful children). They gave us a place to sleep, a lot of food to eat, showed us around and contacted people we needed to interview for the project. What more could you dream of:)

SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERACajsa and Karl

Not quite the first stop to Not Quite

After reading the last post, you have probably been wondering whether we actually made it to the woods of Fengersfors? Yes, we did. And did the winter come? Yes, it did. Just after making the last post we saw the snow for the first time this year. Vincent thinks that we live in a freezer. These two things add up to the fact that the winter is here (at least for the French).

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Vincent in front of the library in Enköping where we made the last post

 

The heading of the post says that Not Quite was not quite our first stop and that is true, if you take into account the city where we made the previous post.

 

SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERAOnce we got here, we were welcomed by the project manager/blacksmith Karl who showed us around Not Quite. Then we had the opportunity of  helping with preparations for the event that takes place tomorrow (some ironing and moving things around). This made us feel like part of the family :)

IMG_20131019_155203The lake on the way

Here are some pictures just to give you a glimpse of what this incredible place is like.

SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERASAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERATomorrow you can read more about Not Quite as Kirke and Vincent spend their day trying to get some interviews from the locals and getting to know Fengersfors.

Kirke and Vincent on Tour de la Scandinavie

Yesterday evening Kirke and Vincent arrived to the port of Paldiski. A big industrial port that has a lot of cargo ships all around. Our first mission was to find our ship called Kaunas (stupid in french by the way- Vincent was very amused). Once we had found the ship and managed to get on board we found ourselves among the creme de la creme- the Estonian truck drivers. It was us and at least 50 trucks on the boat.

IMG_20131018_205249 The blurry passanger Kirke

To our great surprise we had the bonus of getting free dinner and breakfast and Vincent took the most out of it as you can see in the picture.

IMG_20131018_223503 Vincent and THE food

Right now we are in all small city (Enköping) on the way to Fengersfors in Sweden and hopefully after a 4 hour drive we´ll get to our first stopping point- Not Quite.

Just to give you an overview of where we are going in the next 6 days we have added a map of our Tour de la Scandinavie. The places we’ll visit are Not Quite in Fengersfors, L/R in Suldal, hopefully Rogaland Art Center in Stavanger and then in the end ARNA in Harlösa.

Screen Shot 2013-10-14 at 11.59.04 PM Tour de la Scandinavie

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This is it for now. Keep your fingers crossed that the team of Kitekat (this how the French call Kirke) and Vincent make it to Fengersfors before the winter comes.


Kitekat and Vincent on the boat

Let the tales begin!

We welcome you to enjoy the Tales from the woods! You can read the overall description of the project in the About section. But just in case you are too lazy to do that we shall give you an overview of the project right now as well. Through this blog you have the opportunity of following the journey of five young artists (the Art Flaneurs) from partner organisations in Estonia (Creative Center Carnation), Sweden (ARNA and Not Quite), Norway (Rogaland Art Center-L/R) and Finland (Kronomagasinet).

They will hold this blog together and make short-term residencies in the partner organisations. You can soon read more about the partner organisations and also the artists in the Art Flaneurs and Partners section. In addition to holding a blog together a research shall be made about the impact of art residencies on the local community in more rural areas.

C016818-R1-13-13A“The tales from the woods in Tartu”

So who do we have here on the blog ? Ina- Art Flaneur representing L/R, Klara- Art Flaneur representing Not Quite, Fia- Art Flaneur representing Kronomagasinet, Arpi- Art Flaneur representing ARNA, Jaan- Art Flaneur representing Creative Center Carnation. Then we also have two other figures- Kirke and Vincent. Kirke (a student and artist-in-residence coordinator from Creative Center Carnation) is mainly doing the mailing, coordinating and administrating. Vincent (a French European Voluntary Service volunteer) is helping Kirke do the coordinating stuff and also helps out with the research. Some of the first posts will be by done by Kirke and Vincent as they explore some of the partner organisations on their Tour de la Scandinavie.

Let the fun begin! Enjoy the blog and feel free to make comments and ask questions !