Ahoo ahoo – Eiderducks and people exchanging cultures, Selvær, Norway

Selvær is an island on the outer skerries of the Helgeland coastline in North Norway. For centuries the islanders in this area have built houses and tending for the eiderducks while they are nesting and hatching their eggs, receiving eiderdown in return. In this Nest we will focus on the interspecies collaboration and close-knit relationship between humans and eiderducks on Selvær.

The artists Karoline Hjorth and Riitta Ikonen propose to carry out a new artistic outdoor project, based on working methods and interdisciplinary approaches established in their previous collaborations. This new body of work will engage the local community as active participants. The project’s visual language will be a combination of the artist duo’s established nature-based focus in the form of large scale photographs, combined with elements of the man-made and objects of significance to each participant.

The biologist Thomas Holm Carlsen has worked with eider ducks and the culture of collecting eider duck down since 2007. He has led several Nordic co-operation projects regarding the unique eider tradition and has lived and worked with eider ducks in Iceland for two years (2013-2015). From 2016 to date, he has monitored Eivind Hansen’s eider colony on Selvær by capturing, tagging, measuring and putting on loggers (GLS technology) for the registration of migratory routes in the winter.

This Nest will take place in Selvær in May 2022 where the artists and biologist will work together for 10 days. The outcome will be shown at the Vega Heritage Centre and later included in the exhibitions of The Conference of the Birds .

Curator for this Nest is Eva Bakkeslett

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