Artist Residency Chat with SINGULARTIST Casey McKee

Casey McKee at Arctic Residency

We caught up with the winner of SINGULART’s first artist residency challenge Casey McKee 3 weeks into his experience at a secluded Arctic Hideaway Artist Residency Program in October 2021, to get insight on his preparation for the stay and journey there. We discussed getting along with other islanders and whether he was able to make friends and attend extracurricular activities on the island. We asked him, how life is on a secluded island in terms of electricity, getting what you need and what happens if you forget something.

The Arctic Hideaway is a Norwegian residency made up of 12 small monofunctional houses in the arctic archipelago of Fleinvær, with bedrooms, a studio, kitchen, bathroom and sauna. Each house has a unique function. A minimalistic and simple lifestyle characterizes the environment. It is both a place to disconnect and to work, for tourists and artists.

The houses are designed in a way that pushes you to go out in nature and connect with it. For example, the kitchen is in one building, the toilet in another and the bedroom is also separated. You are therefore forced to go outside and meet with nature constantly, which gives a unique experience for visitors. Moving outdoors between the different houses exposes you to the colors of the landscape, the shifting weather conditions and the architectural surroundings.

5 Takeaways and advice:

  1. Bring with you: books, warm clothes, a flashlight, and music.
  2. Be prepared to just be still. Time goes by very slowly. 
  3. Don’t put too much pressure on accomplishing anything specific.
  4. Make sure that it’s a good fit, it’s not for everyone!
  5. Have no expectations and the willingness to accept that things might go wrong!