Traces of Light:
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“It’s an intuitive process. In chaos, I play with figures, altering their spaces, wiping off and keeping marks from previous layers. While creating new spaces over others until I obtain a certain atmosphere and the expression that I want…which is something I find while going along…a history is built into the canvas, and adds weight and poetry to the final image... I paint out of my inner world with all the sights, emotions, thoughts, people, things, atmospheres and the history that runs through me. It all shapes what happens on the canvas…almost like a diary with no words, based in a reality seen through my eyes. It has dreams, fantasies and sort of inner adventures tangled in between the pure reality, playing between the restless and standing still, always in a flux…a playfulness running in and out of the layers of oil paint, with a deep sincere essence holding it together. To me my paintings hold many secrets…and I like it that way. It gives them space to breathe and live their own lives; just like people…they have a sea of secrets too...”
Born in Norway, Kristin Vestgard continued her studies with a BA in Fine Art at Falmouth College of Art in 1997. Three years later her studies culminated in a sell-out degree show. Although she continued to live in Cornwall for a further ten years, her paintings are becoming increasingly sought after by galleries in both London & the West Country, it is the indefinably Nordic quality to her work that one instantly senses. Like the silence of snowflakes settling on fir trees or the ephemeral appearance of the aurora borealis her paintings whisper to us of magic & dreams & times spent in playful contemplation. Her figures, for she is essentially a figurative painter, seem somehow to be part of a narrative that is never explained - it is of course for us to interpret as we will, just as she herself does during the painting process giving her protagonists full reign to create their own scenarios while she builds up the image with layers of acrylic then oil, keeping some marks & allowing new spaces to appear into which her figures (always female) can step. It is an entirely intuitive process that draws upon her inner world of people, emotions, thoughts & atmospheres, akin to as she describes it, a diary with no words where dreams, fantasies & a sort of inner adventure play out.
A return to her native Norway - a place of ice & snow & fairy tales has undoubtedly fed into Kristin's paintings. Her colours are cool her figures fantastical their clothes creations of whimsy & splendor in which she wraps them partly to protect them, partly to hide the secrets & ambiguity of their lives. As a child she had toyed with the idea of being a fashion designer, now the shapes of clothes & the atmosphere which they create feed into her imaginative world. There are no answers & this sense of mystery, the ambiguity is important to Kristin. Just as when trying to decipher a particularly vivid scene from a dream one has understood until the meaning has silently