Festival artist of the year: André Martinsen
The painter André Martinsen (52) is behind this year’s festival theme. He lives in Oslo. He writes:
Green-grey-blue man, graphics educated. Worked earlier in a cultural newspaper (Dagbladet). There has been quite a lot of muddy water under the bridge since I worked in Dagbladet. In our millennium I have mostly worked for myself, puzzled and picked together and taken apart pictures for those who might want collages of a truthful or contrived story. I see the world in pictures and music.
Music is landscape in motion. You can visit all the world’s continents and hidden destinations with vibrations of sound. And on an island far out in the sea, where a dark sky dances with light, the genre you come closest to is…the blues. Even with your eyes closed, you see colors more clearly if you listen to music. You can move or allow yourself to be moved while sitting completely still. Music makes choices. Music cries and laughs. Music marries and dies and lives on. The festival motif from Svalbard is a still image of music that makes you stop and hear the dancing northern lights, to hear the difference between yellow, green and blue. The motif wants you to listen to the wind playing on the masts’ guitar strings. The snow is a pause between each note and in the mountains the music fades into the polar bear landscape. The sound of a rifle, a warning shot.