The idea for ARTMONEY NORD emerged at a time just over three years ago
My name is Hanne Matthiesen. I am an educated visual artist and potter. I started making artmoney in 2004 - next to the things I am otherwise busy with, which are typically large jars, mix molds, collages and artists' books.
The idea for ARTMONEY NORD emerged at a time just over three years ago. I noticed that there were virtually no participants from Sweden, Norway, Finland, Iceland etc. while all sorts of other nations were represented. It was clear from the artist register at artmoney.org - and it made me wonder, because to me, the artmoney concept is tailored to the Nordic community and our democratic thinking. After all, we are almost raised on the idea of one man, one voice. And even though there is definitely still a difference between top and bottom, we as human beings are yet on an equal footing and live in communities of openness, equality and meeting each other in confidence. I want to help that community to develop further.
From previous art projects I have a fairly good network of Nordic colleagues, so I thought it was obvious for me to go that way and spread the knowledge of artmoney. Therefore this project - or the group if you will - ARTMONEY NORD. The idea, of course, is that we must reach out to the whole of the Nordic region.
The project stands out from other artmoney exhibitions in two major areas. The participants in ARTMONEY NORD are all hand-picked. You have not just been able to sign up. In turn, no one had to pay to join.
Participants are invited partly on the basis of geographical criteria - who would like to be representatives from all over the Nordic countries - and partly from an artistic angle. I wanted a high level of quality, and have made a real effort to find the right people. Not everyone has been interested. For example, many have refused because they think the price is too low. They can't see themselves making art for 200 Danish Kroner. Of course I respect that. But you can see everything in several ways. Not only do I see this as a matter of buying and selling art - but as a way of contributing to a positive evolution of society.
Well, if we have to get down from the high horse and get concrete, today ARTMONEY NORD consists of 28 artists from all over the North. It may be me pulling the biggest load, but it only goes because I have two absolutely invaluable colleagues supporting me: Tina Gjerulff and Rebekka Koefoed. One should not underestimate how much there is to do with organization, logistics, etc. So it is good to have some friends who can work it out together!
Hanne, Rebekka and Tina at an ARTMONEY NORD exhibition on the Danish island of Bornholm
Until now we have exhibited in Denmark, Åland/Sweden, Finland and Iceland. At the time of writing, our mobile walking exhibition has reached Torshavn in the Faroe Islands. This is again something of the great thing about artmoney: the works are no bigger than they can easily travel around as an exhibition of 28 artists - in a suitcase!
We have had lots of wild, fun, exciting, annoying and unique experiences by traveling with “The red suitcase”. We visit places and meet people we would not otherwise have seen or met. It's all worth the effort.
The nations where it has been most difficult for representatives have been Greenland and the Faroe Islands. Here we are clearly under-represented. Therefore we are very glad that we have, at the moment, included a single Faroese man, Georg Sudurgard in the group. It is invaluable to have a contact with the local community. Both with linguistic and practical things, with networks etc.
Hanne and Georg at the present exhibition in the Faroe Islands, 2019
Financially, the project is not a profitable business. We have chosen to consider ARTMONEY NORD not as a business, because then we might as well close down right away. We see it rather as a communication project, and we have applied for different cultural funding. We also received a small amount of grants. However, it only covers the travel expences. In other words, it is not the high wages that is the driving force in the project, but rather that of going places, experiencing, networking, getting involved in dialogue, finding new inspiration, etc. It is highly recommended to do it your self! If you carry a small entrepreneur or project maker in your stomach, then just get started!
See more about ARTMONEY NORD (browse list of exhibitions, artists etc.) on:
Text by Hanne Matthiesen. Setup by Lars Christian Kræmmer, 2019