Anette Gellein - Melting Time - Atelie

Anette Gellein - Melting Time

Anette Gellein (b.1995) is a visual artist from Norway working with film, sound, textile, drawing and performance. Their work is often abstract and theatrical, but at the same time contains a critical approach to language and images. Thematically their work is often about power hierarchies, language and sexuality.

Read the norwegian version of the article

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There is a lot of activity around Anette at the moment. Recently, a series of drawings were acquired by KORO for the New Stavanger University Hospital Through their collaborations with other artists they also have many exciting projects ahead; Anette recently worked on set design and costumes for a contemporary dance opera by Louise Ahl, which is set to premiere at Tramway in Glasgow. Before this performance, they will showcase a film at the Harstad Film Festival (AMIFF) and open their first solo exhibition at Kunsthall Oslo on October 6th!

"I'm very happy about it because I get to show my drawings to an entirely new audience, and maybe they can bring some joy to people in very different life situations."

Anette Gellein at their studio

We had a chat with Anette about their artistic journey:

What inspired you to become an artist?
It wasn't immediately obvious to me that I would become an artist, but it was something that I became more and more passionate about over time. I started by creating small drawings in sketchbooks that I kept very private. It began after I had been to a Matisse exhibition and saw a video of him drawing some flowers in his garden. So, I thought, just for fun, I want to do that too! I kept it very secret in the beginning, but eventually, I opened up to friends. Much of it was so raw and personal. The paper and sketchbooks became an important space where I could express myself with both humor and more serious themes. At the same time, these drawings felt somewhat out of place. I wasn't part of an artistic context, and I didn't quite understand what I was doing or why. But over time, I've gradually become more immersed in it. Many of my works, in a way, come from this foundation, which is my own private space and world that I have with my drawings and sketchbooks. That's why it's so nice to be able to share more of my drawing practice!

What is your background?
I was born and raised in Sola, just outside Stavanger, in 1995. I moved to Lofoten to study at Nordland Kunst og Filmhøgskole (Nordland College of Art and Film), where I earned a BA. After that, I moved to Scotland, where I completed my master's degree with a focus on performance at the Glasgow School of Art. After returning to Norway, I also took a course in gender studies (intersectionality) at the University of Stavanger.

How do you work leading up to and during projects?
It varies a lot. It depends on the media I'm working with. Some media are much more time-consuming and require longer processes. In 2023, I completed a new experimental film called "Love and Greed and Pain and Lust." It was shot on 16mm color film, and it has been a time-consuming process that took me over a year to complete. I will be showing it at film festivals in the coming year, as well as in my solo exhibition at Kunsthall Oslo, which opens very soon on October 6th. During the opening, I will also perform, which was part of the development of the film, especially in relation to the soundtrack I composed for the work.

I generally work in a very process-oriented way and with the materials I have available around me. I have clear ideas and goals, but the form can change along the way as needed. I always develop the work if I don't feel it's quite where I want it to be or if it doesn't say what I want it to. I often collaborate with friends or people who are close to me.

You've never created silk screen prints before. How was this process?
It was absolutely fantastic! I had so much fun working at Tou Trykk (Tou Print) with Elin. She was so open and motivating, which made me feel free to explore silk screen printing and experiment along the way. It allowed me to think about the motif in new ways, and the silk screen print is not simply a reproduction but rather a series of variations. It resulted in an edition of 20 prints, all slightly different. Each one is unique and has its own qualities.

Melting Time, Anette's new silks creen print

How did it differ from other techniques you've worked with? I'm starting to appreciate analog techniques more; it allows you to work with colors differently, and you can easily 'edit' the print during the process. Plus, you can see that it's a silk screen print; it has texture and depth that I often associate with the technique.

You experimented during the actual printing process; can you tell us more about that?
Along the way, I worked on distorting the motif in some of the layers, and I used cut-outs that I placed on the surface. I felt this added another dimension to the print, as if there was another world revealing itself in the print


Ongoing projects include their new film “Love and Pain and Greed and Lust “(2023), as well as set- and costume designer for an experimental three act solo opera “Skunk without k is Sun” by Louise Ahl premiering at Tramway in Glasgow 2023. In October they are also opening a solo show at Kunsthall Oslo. In Desember 2023 their work will be shown at Galleri Opdahl in Stavanger.

Gellein has a master from Glasgow School of Art Specializing in Performance art. Previous studies include a BA from Nordland School of Arts and Film in Lofoten. Their work have previously been shown in places such as Oberhausen Film Festival, Stavanger Art Museum, Kunstners Hus Kino, TENT Rotterdam, Lydgalleriet in Bergen.

They have also been engaged in creating a queer arts festival in Stavanger called Hot House, as well as co-running the artist-run space Studio17 in Stavanger from 2020-2023.

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