After spending some quality time with artist Bess Frimodig, I learned about this important project: 20 Coastal Stations. Although seemingly remote from my path, this exciting idea is most certainly within my small and connected planet. The opportunity to embrace some unchartered territories appeared before me.
“20 Coastal Stations” is a project initiated by the Norwegian artists Elisabet Alsos Strand and Karen Helga Maurstig. The project is a travelling Artist in Residency during which we concentrate on the Japanese woodblock printing technique – Mokuhanga.
Six artists from Norway, Sweden, Finland and Japan, meet in August 2015 to begin an 18 day long residency, where the experience of nature, and local culture seep into the exploration of mokuhanga, the woodcut. Each artist demonstrates a singular approaches to mokuhanga. The goal of the 20 Coastal Stations is to challenge each others’ working methods to expose new ways forward technically and creatively.
The journey traces historical expeditions towards the high north, but in an opposite direction, in order to reveal unchartered territories , narrating unknown terrains and rare phenomena.
The coastline functions as a connective line for the Nordic countries, a characheristic echoing Japan’s topography. Our cultures identify a coastal life as a shared denominater, and an existence which has either pushed its people to seek unknown shores such as the seafaring heritage of the Vikings, or it has been a contributing factor to an isolationist tendency, as in Japan.
All of the participating artists express themselves individualistically through intaglio, serigraphy, relief print and woodcut. Thus, the artists present an array of creative expressions on paper, by installations, academic publications and relational aesthetics. Some of the artists incorporate scholarly activities to inform their creative practices.
The project is supported by Arts Council Norway, Norwegian Artists’ Association, Nordland County Council, Sogn and Fjordane County Council, The Association of Norwegian Printmakers, Municipality of Fjaler.