Heima Art Residency
Back in 2014 Made by Hand supported the establishment of Heima with Workshop lamps. We spoke to Andreas and Lasse about the idea and ambitions behind creating a residency for young emerging artists.
Andreas Lemche and Lasse Høgenhof established Heima, together with Jonatan Spejlborg, Simon Bergkjær, Björt Sigfinnsdóttir, back in 2014 as a residency for young emerging artists. Heima accommodates up to six artists at a time and is full all year round. Heima is a house and studio space spread over 350 square meters in the small town Seyðisfjörður, East Iceland. Seyðisfjörður has about 700 inhabitants and is rich on nature situated at the innermost point of the fjord of the same name.
How did you get the idea to Heima?
Andreas: The idea came after participating in LungA Festival, an annual art festival in Seydisfjordur. After coming back to Denmark we were five friends that had fallen completely in love with the thought of doing a permanent project in Seydisfjordur. The next year we spent talking ideas for how to realise this and the year after we travelled back to Iceland and bought the house that later would turn into Heima.
Why did you choose to create this residency in Iceland?
Andreas: Seyðisfjörður is distinguished by its close proximity to wild nature – some might even consider it on the verge of the uninhabitable. The isolation and natural rawness makes it a perfect place to slow down, think and create. It has less than 700 inhabitants and is located on the east coast more than 700 kilometers from Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland. The renowned Swiss artist Dieter Roth spent the last part of his life here and has inspired a unique and thriving art scene. Despite its small size it has two annual art festivals, two art residencies, an art school, galleries, studios, a cinema, music and more.
What impact does Heima have on the work of the artists?
Lasse: Heima as a residency is shaped by its local community and the surrounding powerful nature. We also experience this as the core elements in how we are influencing the inhabiting artists. If you have been there you will know it is hard to explain this impact and there is very few places like it. Besides this, the collective and collaborative way of being and working together also shapes every individual experience and is very unique from group to group – in that sense it is a project that changes a lot depending on the people who live here.
Can you share a special moment or story from Heima?
Lasse: About five years ago I was in the amazon in Colombia travelling into Brazil. I arrive to Manaus and look at my mail for the first time in a month or so, and I had an unread email from Andreas. It was pictures of a house falling apart, and a question mark after the text: How about this one? – I wrote him back that it looked beautiful, and three months later we bought the house without having a clue what we just got ourselves into and how much it would influence our lives.
What does Heima mean to you personally?
Lasse: On a personal level it is a lifelong commitment to a group of people and a place that I have a hard time grasping or talking much about. Work-wise it is a space and project that reminds me about continuing to experiment and being critical towards the rules and structures containing my actions.
What are you working on in this period?
Lasse: I am the headmaster at the Iceland-based experimental art school: LungA School – http://lunga.is/school/Besides this I participate in exhibitions with my own artwork and make external workshops from time to time. Andreas: I’m the co-founder of Postevand; www.postevand.com. I do music management together with Kasper Bjørke; www.bjørkelemche.com. I co-founded and are part of running Heima Art Residency; www.h-e-i-m-a.com.