Looking back and forth
We do not know which lines and which currencies lead us to certain people and to certain places. But sometimes it just feels right.
traces came together which lead 30 years back when I was beginning to study Norwegian Language and Literature at the University of Göttingen, Germany. I visited Bergen to improve my studies at the Summer University in 1984.
In 2014 I met Hanne Bramness, a norwegian poet, by chance in a small restaurant in Berlin. I read her poems and was strongly attracted by
I sin tid – In her time.
In a few weeks of concentrated work I developed a series of 50 drawings, all ink on paper, a black and white journey to times and places in Hanne´s poem which begin with the following words:
Hviske en orden inn Whisper an order
i framtiden: i sin tid to the future
setter grenser draw lines
på tvers av grenser across lines
og fortelle: and speak:
Om midtsommernatten Of the midtsummernight
reisen østover a journey east
horisonten the horizon
som skyves framover pushed forward
i takt med båten with the boat
(ut av Hanne Bramness: „I sin tid, Gyldendal Norsk Forlag 1986
„In her time“ in: Salt on the eye, Shearsmen Book, Exeter 2007)
Now, in 2016, I was able to present these drawings at a place which seemed to echo to the works. Of course, it should be the other way round, but the interdependencies are so obvious.
History, tradition, a long time to let things develop, but also destruction and reconstruction, and the drawings which brought nowadays time, my time, into the house.
The objects and the drawings began to speak to each other. I was happy to have this place for myself the first three days during the preparation of the exhibition.
It felt absolutely right to sit in the kitchen, prepare my meals, look on the fjord and develop some of the wool circles, I imagined to have as a tribute to the place.
In Berlin, far away, felt like years ago, I imagined a place on the ground of an ancient monastery, one of the oldest in Europe.
My answer to the special heritage of Halsnøy Kloster is obvious; each monastery had a garden; the „hortus conclusus“ was not only a place to cultivate vegetables, herbs and flowers for consumption and healing, but also a silent space within the monastary walls for contemplation and prayer.
I developed a series of Tondi, representing the Garden.
Today the surroundings of Halsnøy are very much the same as when the monastry was operational and intact. The landscape is formed by the sea, grass covers the island and grazing sheep can be seen as in the days of old. I paid tribute to all this with my installation in the basement using soil, wool and grass for a special pictorial allegory of ongoing change: Grass will be covering the world even after the end of history.
A place evolved (from history, from my longings, from reflections) where some of the better human qualities are visible or required: Care, patience, reflection and the longing for beauty…
Halsnøy Kloster, Sunnhordland museum
5455 Halsnøy Kloster
Web. Halsnøy Kloster: http://halsnoykloster.wordpress.com
Thanks to Helen Petersen from Sunnhordland Museum for her support and for opening the house for me and all my ideas and works, to Oyvind Hjelmen for troubleshooting, to Anna Brunain and Mirte Bogaert for inspiring evenings with piano play, talk and an unbelievable breakfeast table…
…and thanks to Hanne Bramness and Lars-Amund Vaage who opened their house for me and made this journey possible. Tusen tak for gjestfrihed og vennskap.