My practice as a painter deals with notions of repetition, displacement and reenactment, often in relationship to nature. From 2009 to 2013 I was enrolled in the Norwegian Artistic Research Programme at the Academy of Fine Arts in Oslo. Through the fellowship I wanted to learn more about the particular circumstances that influence the decision-making taking place on the canvas. I decided to go on a search for A Place for Painting.
For many years I used photographs as a way to remember landscapes. I would use them to go on extended journeys in painting. With the advent of the digital age, the time between taking and developing and distributing images collapsed. At the same time, I saw my paintings gradually shifted in character. It felt as if there was lack of presence in the brushstrokes. I associated this with a dependency on the photographic medium as a model and source material for new painting. Photography seemed to disconnect me from observing what was actually happening on the canvas and how this was related to the outside. To make my experiences visible, I needed a more direct translation of the world. I imagined a search for a place for painting to rediscover the connection painting has to its surroundings. This led to a series of journeys to see how changes in geographical location would influence my work. As part of the investigation, I returned to the tradition of plein air painting. For me, this felt like the most direct way in which I could study how painting interacts with a physical place, while also addressing the subject of place in painting.
Plein air painting necessitated working outside the architectural constraints of the studio. The variables of the outdoors raised fundamental questions about color, light, composition and the act of painting itself. I began experimenting with different studio models that I hoped could open up new relationships to nature and new modes of production. To further explore this repositioning and the interactive relationship that resulted, I decided to build a mobile outdoor studio using my own loft studio in Oslo as a model. The result was Winterstudio. This essay gives an account of the research and thinking that informed the building of this structure, the experience of working within it at two different locations and its subsequent influence on my work in the studio in Oslo. The focus is on a contemporary painting practice, but should be relevant to anyone interested in exploring the conditions and context of artistic production today.