Inger Emilie Solheim
Being from a half sami background, I feel encourage to apply. My ancestors are from Indre Billefjord, a coastal sami village in Finnmark. Throughout the 1900 they were victims of "norweginisation", and our sami language has been lost.
I’ve had several roles in the art scene in Northern Norway since I moved back to the North in 2010; artist, leader of artist group/curator, board member of Alta Kunstforening, freelance journalist/writer about art, art student and worker at Alta and Tromsø Kunstforening.
“I curate exhibitions in a relatively remote subarctic area of Northern Norway populated by Norwegians, Samis and Kvens, and continously exploring the northern, non-urban, mixed-origin identity”.
Being a part of Alta Kunstforenings team from 2011, first as board leader, then secretary, later as responsible for website and social media, and currently as curator and board leader, has been a great way to learn a lot about organising shows and running a gallery. I wish to be able to show the public in Finnmark and Alta, professional contemporary art. The remoteness and sparse population reflect on the art scene in Finnmark which is small and arbitrary.
The last few years I’ve been curating shows in Alta, remotely, from my current town Tromsø, and I feel that I contribute connecting the two cities, putting the larger art scene in Tromsø in contact with the Alta audience. I don’t see the need for bringing artists northwards from further south in Norway; there is a large art milieu in the north that has a lot to convey about living in the north, working in the north, and that should be given the opportunity to show their work in galleries in the north. Alta and Finnmark is just a short trip away from the young and energetic art scene of Tromsø.
The people of Northern Norway are warm, the artists are generous and the scene is welcoming and small. It’s a remote, arctic and unique location, and it’s vital that we recognise these values both socially and in the art scene, finding our own uniqueness, recognising our strengths.