Fish on the Water

This series of paintings is from 2016, I created them intentionally for a festival that happens each year here in villages and in other parts of Norway. The festival is called Skreifestivalen, it’s a day when people appreciate and celebrate the start of the Cod fishing season. The events highlight the fishermen/ fisherwomen and the fishing villages and towns on the coastlines of Norway. During the festival you can experience handcrafts, metal smithing, theatrical tours, cuisine tastings etc. Many towns were established because of the fishing industry, you can see this success still today. This is Something a city girl like me, from the states never knew much about. When I visited the grocery store with my family, the fish or any product is already packaged perfectly without a trace of what it was, or where it came from.  This is what I appreciate in these festivals, the people, the knowledge I gain, how things come to be, and the production process.

I have a great appreciation for the history and the respect I’ve seen displayed for the whole dynamic of man functioning with nature. This balance is not always perfect, I remember myself the first time I went fishing with my ex-husband and friends, the first couple of times we caught fish I would feel a great sadness immediately sensing and thinking of

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Depicted here is  a Coalfish (Sei) we caught on one of many fishing trips.

the hooks ripping into the fish’s lips. Sometimes you would see them pulled up and the hook will have lodged in their eyes or other part of their bodies. I would immediately picture the human form in this same way. I guess empathizing with the living creature in front of me. I would start crying and since I didn’t know how to express that distress I would close my eyes and thank them for this sacrifice and hope the pain was swift and over fast. This would at times make my friends laugh seeing this. But They would also make fun of me trying to fish while wearing a fancy dress and rubber boots.  The good kind of fun laughing with me. In the end however I would sometimes laugh last, catching more and sometimes bigger fish. The experiences have given me a greater understanding of the Norwegian coastal culture (Kystkultur).

In some of the work created for the event for you can see signs of my visions of mutilated fish but also the beautiful colors and shapes of these sea creatures.

 

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