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Exhibition: «A play with colors»

Exhibition at Galleri Lilje, Ferstad gård, Trondheim

summer 2021

What does music and painting have in common? Not much, you may say. Quite a lot, I say. In my artistic process, music has long been the very starting point for the painting - that which has aroused my creative desire, and acted as driving force from idea to finished picture. First and foremost, it has been classical music which I have listened to and let myself inspire by, purely melodic, but also thematic. I often refer to my paintings as color harmonies, as I aim to create a rhytmic dialogue between calm and powerful movements, by moving the brush in time with the tones, as if to transfer the harmony from the music on to the canvas. A series of paintings based on The Planets, an orchestral suite by Gustav Holst, became the first bigger project I did of the kind, followed by two commissions inspired by Shostakovich’s Leningrad Symphony and Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries respectively. And exactly these two paintings started the dialogue between Frithjof Riis and myself, about doing an even closer cooperation together where music and painting meet.

The album of Frithjof is in a different musical landscape than the classical compositions I have worked with earlier. With different harmonies and sounds, the biggest difference is nevertheless that now there were even more words and lines for me to get inspired by. The songtexts helped me find the colors, while the melodies created the movements. Some of the song titles I have kept as titles for my paintings as well, but in most cases I have chosen the words from the lyrics that hit me the deepest and made a color palette thereafter. If paintings are personal, lyrics are often even more private. It almost felt like reading someone’s diary as I ventures into the songs, stanza by stanza, searching for what I found to be the essence in each and every one of them. However, I do hope the interaction which has occured between the songs and the paintings have only widened the horizon of both parts. They do not compete with each other, but are different forms of sensory expressions for something as universal as feelings, memories, atmospheres and life histories.

The title of the exhibition had to be taken from the song Fargespill - Color play. For that is exactly what this is all about - a play between music, lyrics and painting, but also a play in colors. Frithjof has through the music put words on feelings, while I with my paintings have put color on Stimmungen, atmospheres. That is why I have also used the whole color scale, to do the title justice. Not only the warm and kind colors, but also the dark and cold - because without darkness there also can be no light. It is in the contrasts all the exciting meetings appear, in life as well as in art, in the play between all the colors.

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