August 30 2013
The Lofoten Islands
In the North of the Arctic Circle, the Lofoten Islands make up a unique landscape, with sun shining at midnight, breathtaking views, and an unparalleled artistic dimension for an eccentric archipelago. A sight to be seen.
Metallic, Atlantic and aggressive blues that contrast with the curacao lagoons. Soft greens that soften the surroundings, blackened like an army of shadows. The Lofoten Islands are thus, contradicting and unpredictable. Atmospheric to the hilt, they play hide and seek with the sky, drown in the arctic spray, and bask in the midnight sun. Between dusk and daylight, the Lofotens aren’t only a place of unusual scenery: it’s a picture perfect town where the elements rule.
Only very slightly detached from the mainland, this string of Norwegian islands – subjected to altitudes more extreme than those of Iceland – is full of coves and hidden treasures: they protect the white sandy beaches and shelter the dark red wood houses and colorful fishing boats, being tossed around by the waves. Cod dries in the open air, looking like knitting on perforated wooden structures. From a distance, it looks like a large natural art installation.
On the bend of a road, we discover, higher up, treasures of contemporary architecture, scenic view points and Land’Art pieces battered by the wind: each adds, in its own way, a unique dimension to the site where it sits, in this former caviar factory (Kaviar Fabrikken) which was recently transformed into a contemporary art center by Venke Hoff, an experienced collector with her husband Rolf. In the small village of Henningsvær – where the couple bought a lighthouse on a whim fifteen years ago – they live naturally among works of art: better still, they were able to invite the French photographer Marie Bovo to stay in residence, entice Parisian gallerist Kamel Mennour and call the world of Art (in capital letters) to this small rocky outcrop, seemingly lost at the edge of the world…