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I am an artist, cultural activist and change maker concerned with making lost connections visible and sensible in order to re-activate our entangled relationship to earth. I consider every action I do as a part of my artistic universe, making the most out of every moment. The smallholding, Sjyhågen (the Seahill), is my beloved homestead and workplace and the base for a growing community of people attracted to a more-than-human and interconnected way of living, thinking and breathing. This is also the home of my very old and wise cat Tiger (the queen of the household) and a bunch of hens and a cockerel as permanent household members and two migrating students (my grownup children), great friends and plenty of wild birds as semi-permanent household members.
I practice gardening with permaculture principles and the organic vegetable garden and greenhouse feeds us with greens and beans, rootveg and herbs in the summer and partly in the winter. There are plenty of berry bushes and some fruit trees to harvest in the autumn. The wild and bountiful nature we are in the midst of supply precious food for free including greens, berries, mushrooms, herbs and fish, despite the latitude!
Art, ecology, aesthetics, creativity, crafts, self-sufficiency, fermentation, de-homogenisation and a multi-species worldview is at the core of my life and this place and I would love to host people here with similar interests and passions. This is a workaway home in the true sense, as in an exchange of fruitful, flourishing and creative cultures, ideas and practice, sharing, learning, giving and enjoying the space and time together.
The smallholding is on the beautiful island of Engeløya in Northern Norway, opposite the famous Lofoten Islands. We are surrounded by stunning mountains, white beaches, valleys, woods, fields and the sea is crystal clear with plenty of fish and other weird and wonderful sea creatures. Engeløya is said to be the most beautiful, hidden gem of Norway!
Home is an old and carefully restored, traditional timber house with some mod cons and two woodburning stoves. There is also a ”writers cabin/guesthouse” (for summer use) and a generous size barn that is home to the hens, my studio and a spacious guest studio for visiting artists-in-residency and the occasional rental guests. In addition there are two well equipped workshops for wood- and metalwork and a ceramic kiln and a potters wheel. As a guest you are of course welcome to use spaces and tools. Sometimes we host workshops, artist camps, symposiums, exhibitions and mini-festivals. Volunteers sometimes share their skills and host their own workshops.
I mostly work from home but also travel a great deal with art-projects elsewhere. You may therefore occasionally need to be here on your own for a few days during your stay. Sometimes I also need people to come and housesit to look after the animals and the garden for a few weeks. This is perfect for someone, or a couple of people, who also practice their arts. Let me know if you want to be on the contact list for house sitters.
I am passionate about wholesome food and love to prepare and eat from the garden or the wild, and from local farms when possible. Mostly we prepare vegetarian food but we also eat fish and meat (local or wild). If you love cooking you have (almost) free reins! I collect raw milk from an organic farm and bake my own sourdough bread, ferment kefir, yoghurt, kombucha and vegetables.
Our tiny village only has 45 inhabitants but the community of Engeløya has a population of around 500. There are plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities like hiking in the hills, mountains and valleys or stroll along the beach, climbing, canoeing, kayaking, fishing in the sea or lakes, boating, cross-country skiing, cycling, bird watching, diving, all kinds of art making, writing or music making- or just for being and breathing and enjoying the wild and the quiet! We have a 16ft motorboat, a wooden rowing boat, a canoe, kayaks and bikes to borrow in spring, summer and autumn and x-country skis and skates in the winter.
This place can be very quiet, dark and contemplative during the winter months and busy, light and buzzing during the summer months. To come here you would therefore have to be comfortable with both quietness and business depending on when you want to come☺️ In winter you may catch a glimpse of the famous, northern lights and in the spring and summer you will experience the eternal days of light and the midnight sun!
Help with Eco Projects
DIY and building projects
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help around the house
Help with Computers/ Internet
This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.
You would learn self sufficiency skills, running a smallholding and looking after chickens. You also have plenty of opportunities to enjoy and develop a close relationship to nature and learn about art and crafts of all kinds, fermentation, baking bread, organic gardening, permaculture, ecology and harvesting from the wild in season. You can also learn woodwork and wildlife skills like hiking and mountaineering, fire making and fishing, kayaking and boating.
If art, ecology, aesthetics, creativity, crafts, poetry, self-sufficiency, fermentation and a multi-species worldview and wild nature is part of your horizon and ignites a spark within you, the door is open to apply! I welcome positive, self-motivated, independent, curious and robust people who are happy to help, eager to learn or share their skills.
In the spring and early summer (May-June) the garden is in focus and it is therefore important that you enjoy and have some experience and interest in the wonders and labour of organic gardening. The autumn is mainly for harvesting vegetables and berries and fruit from the garden and picking mushrooms and berries from the wild. Picking, harvesting and preserving is then at the core. In midwinter (March-April) people who are good with chainsaws or swinging axes for wood chopping are always welcome! November and December is a time for indoor work including painting and decorating, sorting, mending, sowing, upholstery or updating websites and other computer based work. In addition people who can help with general things like cleaning, painting, sorting, cooking, MAC stuff/Lightroom, archiving, mending etc. are always welcome☺️
This coming summer (2021) we plan to build a mobile sauna in late June/July, a willow fence around the veg garden and make a new composting area so it would be great if someone wants to contribute to these projects. In May/June I also need help by someone who is comfortable with heights to paint the roof of the barn and a wall of the house. I promise great views:) I also need help with the organic garden throughout the summer.
You need to be practical, self motivated, independent but sociable and, as we all share the cooking and cleaning, you would need to have some skills in this area too. Ideally you would need to have some practice in the tasks we will be doing like; organic gardening, permaculture, woodwork, painting & decorating, cooking, digging, Mac skills etc. Love for animals and plants is very welcome, good humour an appreciated disposition and wonderful if you also have other skills to share like mending, making, sewing or any crafty, artistic or musical abilities or practice yoga for mutual enjoyment or to share with the local community! You are also invited to do your own creative projects and initiatives here and contribute to making this an interesting and diverse place.
This can be a very busy place in summer but in autumn and winter it is more of a quiet place so you would need to be comfortable with quietness and not having too many people around. It is fairly remote with a two hour journey by express boat to reach the nearest city (Bodø) so it is best suited for people who feel happy and comfortable with remoteness and being immersed in wilderness. The weather varies and can be glorious and amazing but also rough, wet, windy and cold. You need to be mentally and physically prepared for whatever happens.
A good size guest room with an adjoining bathroom, another couple of rooms in upstairs of the house or a small guesthouse in the garden for use in the summer (no bathroom but you can of course use the one in the main house). Computers and internet/wifi available, a screen and projector for films but no TV. TV or game addicts would get very bored here...
Engeløya is easy to get to by public transport. Either by train or plane from Trondheim/Oslo or Bergen to the nearest city, Bodø, and then by expressboat or bus to Engeløya. Make sure your arrival in Bodø corresponds with the boat from Bodø to Bogøy (on Engeløya) which leaves at 18.00 Mon-Sat. 19.00 on Sundays. Note: The boat is the catamaran HURTIGBÅT and not the HURTIGRUTE destined for Svolvær. You can also come here by bus. We will send you more details and a map of how to get to the boat in Bodø.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
5 hours per day (max 25hours/week)