Residency at Galleri Svalbard in Spitsbergen (second week)

 

In the second week of my stay in Svalbard I went on visits to the Russian settlements of Barentsburg and Pyramiden.

Barentsburg is the second-largest settlement on Svalbard situated on the Grønfjord (part of Isfjorden) with about 450 inhabitants, almost entirely Russians and Ukrainians. Barentsburg is the only remaining Russian permanent settlement on Svalbard. Svalbard is under full Norwegian sovereignty, but according to a 1920 treaty all signatory countries (40 in total) are granted non-discriminatory rights to fishing, hunting and exploring mineral resources. For Russia that means coal mining. Barentsburg started as a Dutch mining town in the 1920s. In 1932 the Rotterdam based Dutch Spitsbergen Company (Nespico) sold their concession to the Soviet Union due to financial troubles. Since then coal mining is conducted by the Soviet company Arktikugol . Pyramiden was a Russian settlement and coal-mining community situated on the Billefjorden which is also part of Isfjorden. Founded by Sweden in 1910 and sold to the Soviet Union in 1927, Pyramiden was closed in 1998 and has since remained largely abandoned with most of its infrastructure and buildings still in place.
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Studies for Scatmobile

 

Six drawings I made in my studio in Rotterdam and at Galleri Svalbard in Spitsbergen in 2017 and 2018 for what could be part of an installation.
Ink, pencil and watercolor on paper – various sizes – 2017-2018
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My stay at the Dutch Polar Station in Ny-Ålesund in Spitsbergen (third week)

 

Ny-Ålesund is a research town in Oscar II Land on the island of Spitsbergen in Svalbard. It is situated on the Brøgger peninsula (Brøggerhalvøya) and on the shore of the bay of Kongsfjorden. The company town is owned and operated by Kings Bay AS, who provide facilities for permanent research institutes from ten countries. Ny-Ålesund has an all-year permanent population of 30 to 35, with the summer population reaching 120. Its facilities include Ny-Ålesund Airport, a Mine Museum, as well as fifteen permanent research stations by countries such as, Norway, Germany, France, England, Italy, Japan, South-Korea China and Holland. It is the northernmost functional civilian settlement in the world.

The Dutch Arctic Center of the University of Groningen uses a couple of small buildings in Ny-Alesund as polar station. There they are studying barnacle geese and their ecology. The study in Kongsfjorden started in 1990 and is continuing till today. Dr. Maarten Loonen is keeping a personal log of this study.

I was invited by Maarten Loonen for a stay of 8 days in Ny-Ålesund as part of his team, a great experience for which I’m very thankful.
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Residency at Galleri Svalbard in Spitsbergen (fourth week)

 

After returning from Ny-Ålesund I stayed in Galleri Svalbard one more week. From there I made one more trip in the evening to Skansbukta and Nordenskiöldbreen (Nordenskiöld Glacier). Other than that I worked some more on small drawings and spend time in Galleri Svalbard’s fantastic library.


 
Library Photo 1 & 2: Armin Elbers.
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Detroit Backwards

 

In June 2018 PrintRoom’s Riso workspace was taken over by Davin Brainard and myself. We collaborated on a zine entitled Detroit Backwards; a portrait of Davin’s hometown which I have visited several times over the past 20 years. We asked Ivan Cornelissen-Wiegel to come up with stuff to fill in the inevitable blank spots in our memories. Both Davin and me share a love for comics, cartoons, fanzines, graffiti and collage and have performed in the group Princess DragonMom.

On Saturday the 2nd of  June 2018 we showed the results of our collaboration at Printroom with  drawings from the book and movies from Time Stereo’s Movie Time, a compilation of live action and animation movies.

Published by PrintRoom & Time Stereo – Edition of 50 copies – 21 x 14,85 cm – 2018
Price 5 €.

Many thanks to: Ewoud van Rijn en Karin de Jong
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Eat Shit

 

Eat Shit
Ink, pencil, gouache and watercolor on paper – 70 x 87,5 cm – 2016
Collection FNAC; National Foundation for Contemporary Art, Paris France.
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