AiR-Assens 2018

Artist in Residence Naarup Savværk 2018


Two artists from New Bedford, Massachusetts, USA were selected for the “Artist in Residence Naarup Savværk 2018”: Elin Noble and Lasse Antonsen.

The whole month they were working on art to be shown in a museum later on in Massachusetts, USA and Korea.

They found their inspiration in nature surrounding their residence, and especially on the old railroad track passing by the place.

A TV company made a documentary film about their work, and they made several interesting artist talks in public space as well as in the Art Center Hollufgaard.

Lasse Antonsen

About our residence in Naarup Savvaerk September 2018


An artist residency gives an artist the opportunity to focus on his or her art within the context of new and unknown surroundings. No longer within one’s ordinary circumstances, a renewal can take place, and one can encounter new inspiration.

My stay in Assens at the Naarup Sawmill – which also made it possible for my wife, the textile artist Elin Noble, to participate – had a profound effect on our art and on our life. Not only could we focus on our art for a sustained period of time, but we were also greatly inspired by our surroundings, including the amazing landscape, the rich cultural and artistic history of the island, and by the local artists we encountered. Many of these artists are highly accomplished, and nationally and internationally known.

Assens and Fyn are part of an artistic tradition that goes back to the early 19th century, a tradition that is still vibrant and alive, renewing itself with every new generation. Indeed, the cultural history of Assens and Fyn is rich and complex, and especially important for us was the exploration of the abandoned Assens-Tommerup railroad line with its many self-seeded apple trees.

Our stay made it possible for us to work together as a couple, focusing on a joint project. The focus was on one of the self-seeded apple tree’s leaves and fruit on the abandoned railroad line. We gathered leaves and the fruit for dye baths, and dyed different types of fabric. We experimented with ways of obtaining a range of colors on a variety of fabric, focusing on texture and transparency. The resulting fabric display a range of golden, yellow, orange and pink tones, which we further dyed into a wide range of grey and green tones.

Elin and I have been invited to participate in an exhibition in Korea in 2020 in connection with a series of lectures and exhibitions celebrating the ancient Bojagi textile tradition. Our residency stay in Assens marks the beginning of the work that will be shown there.

Bojagi is a tradition in which the transparency of the fabric is the primary focus for sewing together sections of colored fabric into geometric/abstract compositions. The many colored pieces of cloth we dyed during our stay in Assens, we are now in the proces of sewing into large compositions, which will hang freely in the air.

It gives us much pleasure to be able to bring the beautiful colors of an apple tree from the abandoned railroad line to an exhibition in Korea. The cultural history of apples is long and complex, and that we can add to that history, connecting local and international, crossing geographical and political boundaries, is a special pleasure.

Our stay at the residency in Assens not only resulted in a new direction in our art, but also led to contact with a rich artistic environment that we look forward to be nourished by in years to come.