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About the Program


The Residency Program 2019 is open for applications until August 15, 2018.

The residency program at Skaftfell aims to create an environment for inspiration, focus, and experiment; to encourage artists to experience life and work in a unique micro community where creativity is applied to the everyday; and to provide conditions that stimulate the dialogue between art and life. 250 artists have come to Seyðisfjörður and to East Iceland through the Skaftfell residency program over the past 20 years. Some have left a physical trace behind, or a trace in someone’s memory. Some have returned many times, and some have stayed for good. Skaftfell is far away from the busy capitals of contemporary art, and it offers a refuge for artists, a hiding place, and a thinking space. We encourage artists to embrace the idea of a slow residency, and to allow themselves time for contemplation, preparing the ground for a shift in their practices.

Skaftfell offers two types of artist residency: Self-directed Residencies and Thematic Residencies


Self-directed Residencies

The self-directed residencies are for individual artists and artistic collaborators. They offer quiet time and space for independent research, reflection, and experiment. Artists are encouraged to use their stay for in-depth inquiries into their work processes and conceptual interests, to use the magnificent nature of Skaftfell’s surroundings as a source of energy and inspiration, to share thoughts with other residency artists, and to work at the interface of art and life, embedded in a small but vibrant rural community. The program is best suited for visual artists, but artists with interdisciplinary practices are also welcome to apply.

Duration: 1–4 months within the winter, spring, or autumn term. We encourage artists to stay for 2 months or longer, in order to get deeper into place and practice.

Accommodation and working spaces: Artists-in-residence live and work in various historical houses throughout the town, all within short walking distance to Skaftfell and to each other. The houses are set up as private or shared self-catering accommodation.

Costs for the artist: Residency fee, travel costs, project expenses, and meals will be paid by the artist. The residency fee covers self-catering accommodation with combined living/working space, as well as general and PR support from Skaftfell staff. The fee varies according to the chosen type of residency.

For more information about the self-directed residencies in 2019 check out the Call for Applications.

Grants: In 2019, Skaftfell is able to offer two grants for Nordic and Baltic artists, courtesy of the Nordic-Baltic Mobility Programme. Further information here.

How to apply

Residency artists are responsible for making their own travel arrangements to Seyðisfjörður. Travel information can be found here. Skaftfell encourages slow travel and has teamed up with Smyril Line, the international ferry from Denmark via Faroe Islands to Seyðisfjörður. We can arrange a special discount for artists-in-residence travelling by ferry in the off-season. More information on the ferry at www.smyrilline.com.


Thematic Residencies

Skaftfell’s thematic residencies aim to create platforms for exchange, discussion, and collaboration amongst fellow artists from various disciplines, who share a professional interest in the residency’s topic, both on a practical and a conceptual level, and who wish to deepen their knowledge and expertise. They are developed and led by experienced professional artists invited by Skaftfell. The thematic residencies offer a 3-week intensive program for 6-8 artists, including group workshops, presentations, individual working time, and professional advice and support according to the residency’s topic and structure.

Accommodation and working spaces:  Artists-in-residence for thematic residencies stay in shared self-catering accommodation. Shared working spaces with individual working desks for all participants will be set up in suitable locations according to the residency’s topic.

Costs for the artist: Residency fee, travel costs, and meals will be paid by the artist. The residency fee includes full tuition, shared self-catering accommodation, access to shared working spaces and equipment, basic materials if relevant, access to WiFi, and general and PR support from Skaftfell staff.

In 2019, Skaftfell offers two thematic residencies: Printing Matter and Wanderlust. Find out more about them in the Call for Applications.

 How to apply

Fjord life
Skaftfell’s operations aim to improve the art center’s environmental sustainability, influenced by its locale. The town is powered by renewable energy, the drinking water comes from the surrounding mountains, and the people of Seyðisfjörður are working towards reducing the use of plastic in the town. Skaftfell’s residency apartments are provided with environmentally friendly and refillable cleaning products, and the staff can assist with access to seasonal local produce including fish, vegetables, and eggs when available. We have three recycled bikes for the residency artists, and are collecting more. Advice on hiking in the beautiful mountains of Seyðisfjörður and other outdoor and sports activities is available through the Skaftfell staff.

For further information email: residency(a)skaftfell.is

Photos: Julia Martin