spaced 3: north by southeast

Spaced 3: north by southeast is a program centred on an artists’ exchange between Nordic and Australian visual artists. The program, which has spanned three years (2016-18), constitutes the core of the third iteration of spaced, a recurring international program of context-responsive art, presented by International Art Space (IAS). 

Spaced 3: north by southeast has comprised 11 residency-based projects that have taken place with IAS partners in regional, remote and outer-urban locations in Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Iceland and Western Australia. Nordic artists have undertaken their residencies in Western Australia, whilst Australian artists have been placed in the Nordic region. These residencies have been positioned as the means to develop new works that will be created by each artist in response to their engagement with the social, environmental and historical contexts of the host communities.

The spaced 3: north by southeast exhibition brings together the new works developed through each project to the Art Gallery of Western Australia (AGWA). Exploring the significant cultural, social and environmental parallels between the Nordic countries and Australia, spaced 3: north by southeast, aims to open a dialogue, exploring local issues in relation to the global context through cross-cultural exchanges mediated by art. 

The spaced 3: north by southeast exhibition will also be complemented by an extensive public program post-event publication.

Participating artists: Robyn Backen (NSW), Michelle Eistrup (Denmark), Gustav Hellberg (Sweden), Deborah Kelly (NSW), Danius Kesminas (VIC), Tor Lindstrand (Sweden), Heidi Lunabba (Finland), Dan McCabe (WA), Linda Persson (Sweden), Keg de Souza (NSW), Sam Smith (NSW).

Nordic partners: Baltic Art Center (Gotland, Sweden), FABRIKKEN for Kunst & Design (Copenhagen, Denmark), Kirsten Kjaers Museum (Thylejren, Denmark), Mustarinda (Hyrynsalmi, Finland), Nes Artist Residency (Skagaströnd, Iceland), Rejmyre Art LAB (Rejmyre, Sweden). 

West Australian partners: ArtGeo Complex (Busselton), Ravensthorpe Regional Arts Council (Ravensthorpe), Shire of Leonora (Leonora), Wangaree Community Centre/DADAA (Lancelin), Warlayirti Artists (Balgo).


Taking the Icelandic hot tub ritual as a space created for in depth conversation linking participants back to local knowledge labour, economics and community, both past and present, and fish (or more specifically, the fishing history) Keg de Souza will re-map the cultural, historical and political spaces of the Skagaströnd community in Iceland on to the walls of the AGWA through an installation.


Robyn Backen | performing labour

Working as a part of a larger project titled Performing Labour, Robyn Backen has worked with the Rejmyre Art LAB, the Reijmyre Glass Factory and a group of international artists in Rejmyre, Sweden to explore the relationship between artist and industrial craft labour.

Backen's work takes a closer look at the poetics of the Swedish environment; both within the glass factory shop as well as another site in Kablo; a small farming community located a short distance from Rejmyre. 


Danius Kesminas | EITHER/NOR

Danius Kesminas’ residency at FABRIKKEN for Kunst go DesignCopenhagen culminated in a series of new performance and video-based artworks inspired by Søren Kierkegaard's first published work, EITHER/OR. Kesminas questions the binary connection between aesthetics and ethics, linked to his experience as a residency artist, moving between the artist studio (the safe creative space of aesthetics), and the city (the unpredictable urban society influenced by ethics).

EITHER/NOR stimulates several cross-connections, which in a freestyle energetic way and with multimedia expressions, create an artistic comment on the dualistic settings in our society. As in several previous projects, Kesminas’ unique artistic style deliberately crosses the borders between styles, artistic expressions, social layers, generations and spaces. 


Dan McCabe| I will survive

Most of the world’s population live in cities. While nature and the natural landscape helps define our sense of nationhood through tourism and online imagery, the time spent with nature has shifted dramatically over the last century from a normal daily interaction to the allotted timeframes of vacations and weekend trips. Today our global and urban lifestyle is increasingly separated from the natural world and our direct impact on it. Actively taking resources from “nature” is socially and ethically fraught, yet demand from consumers increases, dangerously detached from its environmental and social cost. This isn't a new revelation, yet still many parts of society continue along this contradictory and unsustainable pathway.

Using localised materials and characteristics from his residency at the Mustarinda Association in Hyrnsalmi, Finland, as a metaphor for global challenges, Dan McCabe explores this complex relationship through large sculptural assemblages, wall based compositions and video. Conflicting aspects of contemporary nature tourism, spirituality, nationalism and mass consumption are combined to prompt reflection on our current mode of living and its effect on our future. 


DEBORAH KELLY | In the mean time

Deborah Kelly's project has seen her collaborate with The Kirsten Kjær Museum and Thy-Lejren community in Denmark.

The Kirsten Kjær Museum is a non-profit association and a private art museum, with a large collection of drawings and paintings by Kirsten Kjær (1893 – 1985), located in the North region of Denmark. Thy-Lejren is an alternative community, created in 1970, located two kilometers from the Museum. The intention of the ‘camp’ was to make a site for experimental living, inspired by alternative movements in the U.S during the 1960s. Today, almost half a century later, Thy-Lejren is an alternative village populated with around 70 people. 


Sam Smith | Lithic Choreographies

Influenced by his residency at the BAC – Baltic Art Center for spaced 3: north by southeast, Sam Smith produced a new single channel video mixing historical data with speculative science fictions set in and around different communities of people and landscapes on the Swedish island of Gotland. The work traces the distribution of the island’s geological material across time and space, with a focus on minerals circulated in cultural and economic contexts. The key protagonist is Gotland itself, invested with an agency to drive – and resist – its slow process of change. The island is presented as an embodiment of natural intelligence: a brain whose ‘thought’ comes via the vibrancy of its material form. Cast in this way, Gotland exemplifies modes of thinking and feeling that are geological in scale. It will urge us to slow down, listen to the messages transmitted by planetary media, and to form caring, vibrant human / non-human alliances.


Tor Lindstrand (SWEDEN) with Women's Collaborative, Larry Gundora and Helicopter Tjungurrayi | Old Balgo Mission  

As an architect Tor’s  interest and response to the history of the built environment of Balgo looks at how the recent colonial past still reverberates through the community, how Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people alike still try to adjust to the impact of these structures.

From his residency and subsequent bush trips together with the artists from Warlayirti Artists (one of Australia's leading indigenous art centres) Tor gathered information about the old mission, sites and paths of importance and stone quarries for the institutions of Balgo.

The project consists of two parts. First a commission of paintings by artists from Balgo, showing histories and landscapes physically  overlapping the sites of the old and the new mission. Secondly a series of architectural survey drawings based on information found at the sites. Combined they tell stories about fundamental change of history, culture and everyday life.


MICHELLE EISTRUP (DENMARK) | In the Deep Underground and Up Above  

Michelle Eistrup's work considers the sharp cultural contrasts between history, land and natural resources and the deep ethical conflicts involved as well as contemporary differences in the lived reality of indigenous Australians and some descendants of European settlers.

Partnering with the ArtGeo Cultural Complex in Busselton, Michelle has spent over three months in the South West region of Western Australia, exploring the unique history of this seaside city and one of the fastest growing regions in Australia. 


heidi lunabba (FINLAND) | Other, Sistergirl  

Heidi Lunabba worked with The Wangaree Community Centre in Lancelin, a contemporary purpose-built arts space located within the coastal community of Lancelin. The centre is managed by DADAA, a leading not-for-profit community arts and cultural development (CACD) organisation, promoting artistic vibrancy and social inclusion for people with disability, people experiencing mental illness and those who experience other forms of social, political or economic disadvantage.

Referring to how people cross the boundaries of social norms in different ways and are thus easily seen as “other” Heidi Lunabba's project is based on the lived experiences of members of the Lancelin community.  


LINDA PERSSON (SWEDEN) | Kayili (‘North’ in Kuwarra)—There Is a Hot Wind Blowing  

Showcasing a series of new works produced in collaboration with members of the Leonora community, Persson's installation for AGWA illuminates the deep multicultural roots evidenced in this remote West Australian town. Presented in partnership with the Shire of Leonora, Linda's site-responsive work celebrates the diversity of languages spoken today and historically in the wider Goldfields region. 


GUSTAV HELLBERG (SWEDEN) | Amnesia—the Eagle and the Rabbit

Tracing Australia is influenced by Hellberg's time in the Ravensthorpe and Hopetoun region, hosted by the Ravensthorpe Regional Arts Council (RRAC). Amnesia is a new film work exploring the absence of knowledge and the unspoken histories of the Ravensthorpe region, its nature and also the peoples who have been active here.