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What are artists thinking and doing? We hope you enjoy the sixth in our series of ‘Reflections from Home’. No.6: Callum Innes, Oslo, Norway.

Callum Innes, Untitled Lamp Black / Quinacridone Gold, 2020, Oil on Linen, 120 x 118

Untitled Lamp Black / Quinacridone Gold, 2020, Oil on Linen, 120 x 118

Lamp Black / Titanium Yellow Gold, 2020, Watercolour

“In Norway, the lockdown began on 12 March. I had decided to stay in Oslo, where my partner Kristin Nordhøy lives, rather than Edinburgh, where I have had a studio for many years. Fortunately I had just fitted out a space where I could work. The studio is on the 7th floor of a former industrial building which used to manufacture steel cables for the oil industry. It is among the tallest buildings in the City, overlooking the Oslo Fjord. I have been cycling to the studio each morning through empty streets from our flat in the centre of Oslo. Though now the City is coming to life again.

I worked very hard in March, and then slowed down. Like everyone, I have spent a lot of time reflecting on what is going on. I find that my memories move freely and my perceptions change through these memories – especially when I speak to my daughter in New York, my son in London or my youngest daughter in Scotland. I am fortunate to be with my partner here, but I am on my own in the studio. While it is an enforced isolation, I have enjoyed it in some ways.

Unlike my ground floor Edinburgh studio where the light is even, here the light is constantly present and moving. I am surrounded by landscape. I have views out to the west, east and south. I started using this gold, seen in Untitled Lamp Black / Quinacridone Gold, in late January. It was dark by late afternoon and the sunsets across the Fjord were quite amazing. The light is very direct. If I am not looking out, I have to pull the blinds down. This Norwegian light is changing my work, especially the new watercolours. They feel especially of this time. There is a lot of silence here. I am used to a busy studio. But here there is a quietness and intimacy.”

– Callum Innes in conversation with Andrew Nairne, May 2020

Opera Rose / May Green, 2020, Watercolour

Opera Rose / May Green, 2020, Watercolour

Kabelgata, Oslo

View from the studio

View from the flat

Andrew Nairne, Director of Kettle’s Yard, writes: ‘we are asking artists we have worked with to offer their reflections from home, at a time when millions around the world are homebound.

Jim Ede, its creator, described Kettle’s Yard as “a space, an ambience, a home”. For Ede, the home was a social place in which art and life might become inseparable. As the artist Anthea Hamilton has observed, the Kettle’s Yard House can also be understood as ‘a state of mind’. Of course, for many the concept of ‘home’ is also deeply personal, and often economic and political too, as our recent exhibition ‘Homelands: Art from Bangladesh, India and Pakistan’, explored. For Jim Ede, who never forgot his time in the trenches in WW1, Kettle’s Yard was a welcoming sanctuary, a place of renewal and insight which could sharpen how we engage and act in the world’.

Image Top Left: Callum Innes, Lamp Black / Titanium Yellow Gold, 2020, Watercolour

More about Callum Innes

The exhibition Actions. The image of the world can be different marked the opening of the new Kettle’s Yard in February 2018. Callum Innes was one of the thirty-eight exhibiting artists.

Click here to find out more about Actions

Read Andrew Nairne’s text about Callum Innes’ Watercolours in Actions here

In 2007 we were delighted to welcome Callum Innes to Kettle’s Yard for a solo exhibition.

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