Singulart is happy to announce a special collaboration with the Arctic Hideaway residency in Norway, to offer unique opportunities to Singulart artists. Meet the founder, Havard Lund, and discover this magical place.
What is the Arctic Hideaway?
Today, 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 characterize the place. It is both a place to disconnect and work, for tourists and artists. I like to mix both tourists and artists; have the summers for tourists and save the longer periods of fall and winter for artists that need to work on their projects.
The residency can host up to ten, but we choose to not have more than four working artists at the same time. Robin Hood inspired the design of the Arctic Hideaway economy. The place works as hotel for normal travellers that rent the rooms in the summer season in order to give free stays or price reduced stays to artists in the winter season.
What inspired you to create this space?
As a musician and composer, I had a need to create a spot for creative people to encourage creative processes. The initial idea was to create an undisturbed working area, where all creatives could meet. The project started slowly in 2004, architects were interested in creating the perfect meeting between nature and architecture. The building process started in 2014 and was already done by 2016.
Can you describe the specific architecture of the Arctic Hideaway?
For the design and construction, I only gave the architects words and my inspiration: integrate houses into nature. Then they did this fantastic job and managed to translate my words and ideas into physical buildings.
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 colours of the landscape, the shifting weather conditions and the architectural surroundings.
What is the role of nature in this residency?
Nature will reset you. After spending a few days in nature, your abilities will reset themselves. For example your night vision will be much better, your ears will reset, your appetite will grow. I think this is due to the sea air that constantly surrounds you, residents sleep more deeply and rest fully for once.
It is quite amazing to see what happens to your mind and body after a few weeks at the Arctic Hideaway. Usually, artists take the first week to settle and adjust. The second week they find inspiration. Then, the third week they explode into work. You really have to come experience it to truly understand.
What is it like to stay at the Arctic Hideaway?
The Arctic Hideaway represents simplicity at its finest. The experience is a sort of retreat in a clear and isolated environment where one connects with nature. The residency is a place for visitors to find inspiration before anything else. Every building is offering simplicity with a high level touch in design and craftsmanship. It is possible to even have the entire place to yourself, we have a host who will guide you during your stay.
There is a range of activities here: from Scandinavian saunas, dips in the Arctic ocean, catching your own fish and scallops with local fishermen, watching eagles and simply, getting lost in nature. The art of doing nothing is easily accessible, you will be relieved of every day stressess immediately. The archipelago has no cars, no shops, but daily public boats to the closest city of Bodo.
Can you explain how the Arctic Hideaway is advocating for a new way of travelling, a more mindful way of travelling?
We ask for a minimum stay of two nights for all who wants to come to our hideaway. Although this is only a start, as we want to end up with one week. We see how a stay works, how the hideaway becomes a transforming experience for all people visiting, and that is a way to make a better world through working with tourism.
Generally, what does a stay at the Arctic Hideaway bring to an artist career?
We have to think that everyone who comes for a longer stay, brings back a clearer mindset and a way to create art that is art at its best. Art which gives its viewers inspiration, perhaps something like Fleinvær gives to the artist under the stay. In any technique used!
How do you select artists?
I don’t necessarily look for a certain type of artist. I want to create a community that works well together. Since the state partially funds the residency, I still need some more investment from the artists side to cover costs. That is why I do select artists that are able to contribute at least a little bit. In the end, it is about creating a community, so for some it might be for free. What I care about is how deep an artist’s work can go. I want the Arctic Hideaway to be a place for artists to find depth in their work.
Do you have any advice for young artists wishing to apply to your residency?
Apply, the most important aspect for us is that you present a concious attitude, about your motivation and the art you make. Otherwise, the art becomes a consumption thing, a product and that has more with interior design to do, than the deepest power of art.
How did the current situation with the COVID impact the artist residency?
It slowed the process a little bit with the travel restrictions. We are currently hosting one artist. I believe COVID is changing the way we travel and I think it is for the best. We are being more conscious of our travelling habits and slowing them down. Visitors are staying much longer now and taking more time to be in one space.