The artist Espen Tversland is one of the artists in the project The Sad Truth. He is a visual artist living in Brønnøysund.
Espen Tversland studied at Statens Kunstakademiet, Oslo. He works in several different media using various techniques which he integrates into his main form of expression: digital video, digital image processing, and animation. Espen uses the point where humans and nature intersect as a starting-point and sparring partner in his artistic work.
His artistic process involves solo-treks through nature where he enters into a performance-like state in order to allow creative processes to arise between him and the environment. He draws sketches, records spontaneous singing and video clips to capture moments which he then processes in the studio to produce the finished video pieces. The format of choice is short sequences, digitally treated and combined with animation, which results in a visual expression fitting the personal experience of nature and the wider artistic concept. The videos reproduce the experiences in an abstract, mystical, surreal and concrete fashion.
Tell about your experience at Fleinvær!
The experience at Fleinvær was brilliant. I was very pleased to be asked to join a group of inspiring artists to stay and work together in a special place. The nature at the Artic Hideaway is beautiful and it is interweaved the architecture of the place. Space, places, and surroundings affect you and the stay at Fleinvær had a very constructive effect on me and the work that was created there.
The group dynamic of generous, “let’s do that now” attitude and skilled artists is inspiring. It makes you want to contribute to the flow of creative thought and work collaboration.
It must have been a very intense week and you worked both with your own ideas and projects, helping on other projects and some collective things. How do you like this form of togetherness?
The Arctic Hideaway gives and creates creative energy. It was a privilege to be part of a wonderful group of artists and musicians for work, sharing meals and stories on a remote island.
What is Truth, in art? Are the wordless expressions, freer than other art forms? Any thoughts on this?
If there is truth in art, in nature or culture, digital art or non-digital art is a hard question. Every person has its own truth based on their experience and beliefs. Other living lifeforms got their beliefs and truths proven in their existence and probably lifeless objects got their own truth too.
The way to embrace truth is to let the phenomenon of life, of an artistic experience or a wonderful horizon “tune” you and truth will be found.
I see deep respect for and love of the natural world is reflected in your work. In the same time, you are very digital. Do you think truth/reality is an antonym for art and artificiality? How do the natural and the digital come together for you?
I consider nature to be mankind’s first teacher and it moves us every single day. My artwork and inspiration start with or in nature.
It can be a planned expedition to find materials and images for art projects, fly-fishing outings or a Sunday walk in the forest or coast a few minutes from where I live.
I am a big believer in emptying the mind to let creative ideas happen. When fly fishing I can spend more time staring on the moving river than actual fishing
We(all humans) are witnesses and at the same time, the force that drives global warming and ecological destruction of nature we are depended of. When you are buying a watermelon in the shop you don’t think you are hurting the planet or contributing to the sixth mass extinction, but you are.
Science and worldwide research are mapping the evidence and effects of the climate crisis. Art must do something else.
No single artwork or piece of music will alter the way humans think overnight. But art can “tune” human language, feelings, thought and behavior over time. I believe art can be part of the creating of a new culture aimed at living earth for all life, also non-human.
I create art with many different techniques, both “old school” and digital. The concept, exhibition possibilities and work process decide the final expression of the artwork.
I am thinking a lot about how we perceive art, music, and nature. How music can make me feel so much that I start to cry or smile like a madman, or how a painting captures me in its beauty and why is staring at a moving river so satisfying?
The phenomenon that occurs before you start to think before the aesthetic ruling takes control of meaning. The phenomenon of art has given you something, it has tuned you and you have connected with something else in the world around you.
The Sad Truth
On May 20th the project “Sad Truth” gets underway, where six artists are gathered for a week on the small island of Fleinvær, outside Bodø. There they will collect sounds, pictures, and films, and collaborate on digital artworks.
“Human beings are perhaps the first beings on Earth who can and must make a choice about whether to live in equilibrium with nature as a whole, or take care of its diversity. Why then do we choose not to do that which is obviously correct and important? We are the first generation to have both the knowledge and tools to take action – if we had the will. So, when the words that form the social debate are drained of their power, perhaps a space opens up for art and music to meaningfully contribute.” Works by Gyrid Kaldestad, Tine Surel Lange, Håvard Lund, Leif Haglund, Espen Tversland & David Rothenberg