I have always been going North
16 drawings from 2011
text from book published on the occasion of a residency at Svolvaer, Norway
From August through late September 2011, Anne Lindberg was in residence at the Kunstnerhuset in Svolvaer, Norway, a fishing town of fewer than 5,000 residents in the Lofoten archipelago off the northern coast of Norway, above the Arctic Circle. For the Danish and Welsh-descended Lindberg, the residency in Norway represented a homecoming of sorts—a return to the north, in concept as well as history and geography.
The work included in this series, here, now north, represents a series of one-a-day photographs that Anne began in January 2010, fluidly followed by a selection of these photographs that she incorporated into drawings while in Norway.
I began taking daily photographs in January 2010 as a way to seek new imagery and to work more directly and honestly. I had also begun to recognize a deeply personal quality in my work, a cloaked and veiled content that I wanted to bring forth. I had also begun to recognize how my work creates intense emotional, optical and physiological responses in viewers as well as in me. I wanted to investigate all of these issues more closely, and thus started taking photographs each day in my home or wherever I was sleeping. The private quiet space of mostly domestic spaces led to a series of highly abstract images that conjure issues of domesticity, health, eroticism, emotional states, tactility and memory - curtains, beds, tile, floors, mirrors and conditions of light, topography and textile. These momentary details and fragments of my daily life became a portal into private space, emotional states and subtle passages of luminosity, surface and tone.
The Lofoten Islands, where I was in residence during the Fall 2011, are rich with fishing culture and stunning wet black mossy rock jutting out of the cold North Sea. Cod, salmon and herring are fished in the depth of dark winters above the Arctic Circle and put out to dry for "lutefisk"or dried cod. This delicacy is a part of many traditional Scandinavian foods, and also exported to Spain and Italy for "bacalao." Scattered throughout the Lofoten Islands, with Svolvaer as the largest community, are majestic wooden frameworks used for drying fish. Stately in their size, the basic form of these racks dates to the time of the Vikings. Their history is long and ingrained in the people and culture of Lofoten.
The drawings I made while in Lofoten are really quite simple, an honest joining of my current home and something of my ancestry. My father's family is Scandinavian, mostly Danish; my mother's family is Welsh.
The time I spent in Norway was a homecoming of sorts, a profound recognition of my history and the way it has formed my longings and understandings of life. A Scandinavian sensibility and temperament is more deeply held within me than I had realized.
Linear ghostly image memories of the drying racks are overlaid the private one-a-day photographs taken in domestic spaces, primarily in my house in the United States. My home became a landscape into which the fish racks were found and placed. Time and space, history and place, private and public come together.
The residency was partially funded by a Lighton International Artists Exchange Grant from the Lighton Foundation.