Thomas Impiglia
Birgir Örn Jónsson
Thais K. Espersen
Anders Weberg
Andrew Appleby
Antonia Thomas &
Dan Lee
Bertrand Mandico
Brendan Colvert
Cédric Dupire
Chiara Ambrosio
Filippos Tsitsopoulos
Fran Flett Hollinrake
Genetic Moo
Gilivanka Kedzior & Boris Friedman
Juha van Ingen
Katrin Olafsdottir
Ragnhild Ljosland
Rannva Karadottir and Laura Navndrup
Rikke Benborg
Ryo Ikeshiro
Seppo Renvall & Maija Saksman
Simon Hjermind Jensen
Stuart McLean
Tom Muir
Tonje Bøe Birkeland
Wu Junyong
Tonje Bøe Birkeland
Tonje Bøe Birkeland Papa Westray orkney


Travels and the act of staging is the starting point of my projects. Photographs combined with text and found objects shape The Characters. The journey is a metaphor for an inner journey. The characters represent the creative artist, simultaneously founded in the past and as extended self-portraits. Each character represents aspects of my own personality, yet they are more often than not universal – generally applicable to the human race. The characters remind us about the passage of time and how we create history.

The timeless landscapes become stages for time travel, journeys back in time, as they show us eternity, a sensation of timelessness and suggest the possibility of new discoveries.

As an artist I embark on an adventure. The experiences from these journeys reshape the story of each character – an exchange where I am depending on my own experiences to create the story of someone else. An artistic development within my own framework creates a limit that I consider motivating, rather than limiting. I lend methods from literature, well known to authors of fiction. The framework starts the creative process: The fiction demands freedom, and then it gradually shapes the narrative, and in this way suggests the continuation, the travel route. The Character comes into shape. I travel in space, through an attempt to travel in time, to stage and photograph another woman and her stories.

Past becomes a method to realize what we are a part of. Maybe we miss how Unknown Territory, open space where no name or details are mapped yet, created wanderlust – and how the physical experience of a journey symbolized an inner journey towards independence, comprehension and inner consciousness.

THE CHARACTERS # I-III (2008-2013)

Since 2008 I have been constructing The Characters, alter egos with given names, eras, personalities and desires. The task to create their stories has been driving my artistic practice:


Luelle Magdalon Lumiére, stereo photographer, reaches the peak of her career around 1913. Luelle is a restless, yet strong woman that never settles. In her earlier years she wanders among the mountains of western Norway. Later she gets aboard a ship and travels further west to the enormous urbanity of New York, the frontiers of Brooklyn and the boardwalks of Coney Island. All of a sudden, one day she leaves to travel back north, first to Papa Westray, Orkney - travelling forth, driven by mystery, illusion and magic, from one island, one independent reality, to the next. As I write to her from New York, from Coney Island, from the same place in another time, it's still the magic and the unknown that drives the story of Luelle forth:

Luelle, you think that no one can fit in more poorly than you – you've entered an unknown world once again. Not a world more or less terrible or wonderful – only very alien, different and entirely imaginative and your preconceptions, if you have any, tells you it is more dangerous than the previous. Though, the strange, dangerous, imaginative and wonderful always pulled you, sucked you up. You are lured here, entering this world, feeling like a stranger and feeling the world as a stranger to you.

You like to be the misfit, all the unexpected that will appear the moment you travel, as you leave behind everything that you know. The raw, ruthless motions evoked as feelings faces the unknown. You will not, yet still yearn, you do not want to leave, you want to find, like you could be twisted, torn in half, yet still not be complete. As if the heart longs for here, then there, which becomes here again after some time, and then becomes what it used to be once again. The heart is what burst, what is heated, what aches, what touches and what is touched. Your eyes wander, seek and aim, yet the heart always follows dither in the end, whereas the remains is pulled up by the roots. This existence sustains life. You drag the roots along; let them find a new place to settle, like a bush moving across the prairie. Each time it gets a little easier to tear, until the wound and the breach does not feel painful anymore, but rather creates a longing for the next to come. The unknown becomes familiar and it becomes impossible to return home.
exhibition of the summer 2013 residency and field work in Orkney and project development during the Festival
LIVE LAB (residency)