Paintings have an ambivalent relationship to place. Expressions like “being in place”, “depicting a place”, “belonging to a place”, etc. are common. At the same time, paintings are movable objects, which gives them a "placeless" quality. This is further complicated by the way paintings relate to other paintings. How “place” appears in one painting transforms our vision of the next. A shifting chronology develops, as if all these places are all part of the same place, the same story, told and retold, many times over.
For the last 150 years or so, painting has navigated a precarious path alongside photography, often defining itself in opposition to it. I work traditionally, using oil, acrylic, gouache, ink and watercolor on canvas, board and paper. After spending several years painting from photographs and being fascinated with how I could translate these pictures into another type of material reality, a type of dependency had developed, as if I was not able to paint without having a pre-defined image to work from. I began to feel a lack of presence and a loss of agency in relation to my own work. Instead of opening up my paintings to new worlds, painting after photography felt like a closure.
This turning point in my work probably did not only have to do with the medium of photography itself, but a general condition that I attributed to photography as a medium that plays a vital role in our present systems of representation and the position of art within this context. In my work I was especially interested in observing nature and investigating the dialogue between landscape and painting. The growing removal I had experienced in working from photographs seemed to be symptomatic of the way I was relating to nature. I started to wonder if it would be possible to make paintings without photographs. Could I rediscover a place for painting outside a photographic frame of reference? To what degree were my paintings a product of their surroundings? How would they change if I moved and started working in a new location?
To further pursue these types of rhetorical questions I applied for a fellowship within the Norwegian Artistic Research Programme at the Academy of Fine Art in Oslo. As a means to perform a self-critical analysis of my own process, I decided to leave the studio and to paint outdoors in search of a place for painting. I hoped that by studying geographical places and the topography of landscapes through painting, I could rediscover a more intimate connection to painting’s inherent topos and to my surroundings.
 Hereafter referred to as the ‘Academy’.