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About: Elly Prestegård

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http://www.ellyp.com
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I am a visual storyteller living in Bergen, Norway. I interpret my experiences and explore my reality by means of pictures. It is like a journey where my curiosity opens for new and unknown landscapes. I studied at Bergen National Academy of the Arts and Slade school of Fine Arts, University College of London, and made a living by exhibiting my art for many years. I have had solo exhibitions all over Norway and participated in juried/curated exhibitions in Norway and internationally. My works have been rewarded with prices and grants. A highlight in my career is a commission for an oil rig, - a huge picture running through three rooms, making one long frieze. For a period I was teaching at Bergen National Academy of the Arts, and for some years I was running a design company together with a friend, designing children's wear under our own brand. My hunger for the free picture was too strong, and in 2006 I chose to go back to fulltime art making. My work is a combination of the different techniques and materials I have been working with over the years; printmaking, drawing, painting, textiles, photography, digital artwork etc. My Canon camera has become part of my body. I search for the magic in everyday stuff. My passion for gardening, birds, writing etc. influences and interacts with my work. It is like the breath; breathing in by being with flowers, listening to birds, having meaningful interaction with friends or people I meet randomly. Breathing out I am letting myself being influenced by these experiences, making them part of my reality, of my art. and I could not resist telling the story: The emerald green fjord wriggling through the landscape, mirroring the steep mountains dressed in their ermine coat a winter night. The tall peaks throwing their needle shaped shadows into the narrow valley. In the middle of the scene me and my father cross country skiing on the main road. A fox is howling to the moon. Sounds like a staged scene. May be from Tim Burtons world? It is not. It is the sparkling memories from my childhood. I grew up in the dramatic landscape of Romsdalen. Surrounded by people who accepted magic as part of daily life, who were keen storytellers, reality grew into a magical dimension. My grandmother Emilie (Besta) had stories in her sleeve making the mystery come alive. In the forest, surrounded by tall firs, was a pond where we used to swim. We could feel the cold streams rise from its “infinite depths”. Every hundred year, Besta told, there would be one night when this forest would change into a fairytale. All the cones would be lit up in the colours of the rainbow. She had not seen it herself, but her sister Otilie was a reliable witness to the marvel. For my inner sight I recreated the wonder, counting years - hoping for me to be there next time, at exactly the right night. Today I am living in Bergen, the second biggest city in Norway, also known as the gateway to the fjords. On one side of our house there is a forest of firs. This is where all the birds come picking up their goodies during winter. In a dark autumn evening I sometimes hang small coloured candle lamps in the trees... This is where I live and work, and the arena for my visual storytelling. I will never stop talking with owls!

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