London-based photographer Jim Naughten is one of a select group of artists invited to take part in an intriguing Norwegian art project and exhibition, which begins this week. ArtiJuli (‘Art in July’) is a month-long art festival at Kråkeslottet (‘The Crow’s Castle’) in the village of Bøvær, on Norway’s second largest island, Senja.
ArtiJuli is a showcase for international contemporary art, held in a spectacular setting, where artists stay and work amongst snow-capped mountains. They fall asleep to the sound of the waves of the Norwegian Sea, which lap the exhibition and workspace where they spend time immersing themselves in Norwegian culture and seeking new inspiration. Through offering extended periods to work on site, the festival’s directors aim to nurture a new dynamic in their guest artists’ creative processes, inspired by local culture, unique architecture, and raw nature.
Naughten's latest photographic offering, Animal Kingdom, will be exhibited during Artijuli. The pieces take the form of stereoscopic images (an early form of 3D photography), which he gathered over the course of a year from the Victorian and Edwardian specimen collections of numerous British museums. The photographs show the beautiful forms and diversity of world fauna, and are viewed through custom made stereographic wooden boxes.
Artijuli’s exhibitions utilise both interior and exterior spaces of Kråkeslottet; a labyrinthine structure, extending over the open ocean on stilts, and at the end of a dramatic promontory. The higgledy-piggledy building has evolved over many years, and been shaped by the historic fishing culture of the region. Visitors are taken on a journey through the building and surrounding grounds, to experience artworks inspired by the setting.
“The setting of Artijuli is extraordinary,” says Naughten. ‘’It’s impossible not to be inspired by staying in Kråkeslottet, where you can see walruses and seals swimming right beneath your bedroom floor.”
Northern Norway is a vast region with a relatively dispersed population, and there are very few exhibition spaces outside the biggest towns and cities. Artijuli aims to give people from all walks of life, and from all over the region, an opportunity to be moved by new visual art, and to meet the artists themselves.
You can find out more about Jim Naughten’s Animal Kingdom:here...
Kråkeslottet images: Artijuli
Eagle Ray Stereograph image: Jim Naughten
Kråkeslottet bedroom image: Artijuli
ArtiJuli venue exterior image: ArtiJuli