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EXHALE: a project by SNIK

STRAAT artists SNIK recently announced EXHALE, a multi-site mural project spanning the remote Norwegian island Utsira and mainland city Stavanger. EXHALE explores our connection to nature, a notion Utsiran locals are well accustomed to – the small community lives in respectful harmony within the surrounding scenery’s cycle of growth, bloom and decay. SNIK’s interest in the natural world and its timeless encroachment into our lives found poignancy in that intertwinement.

The island Utsira has a population of only 200, and has previously played host to the works of numerous contemporary artists (Icy & Sot, Issac Cordal, Pichiavo, Borondo). Three SNIK murals were painted across the island: Pathways, Afterthought and Exhale.

Pathways, painted onto a storage silo on the island, acts as a reminder that even as we build routes to grow and travel, nature is always a part of that process, and our close connection is forever vital to that growth.

snik, exhale, pathways
snik, exhale, pathways

Afterthought found a home on a now-unused WWII bunker, a discarded, unnecessary building given back up to nature to be reclaimed. This piece is a reminder that often the effects of our actions on the natural world come as an afterthought.

snik, exhale, afterthought
snik, exhale, afterthought

Exhale, painted on a harbor wall, reflects on a moment of calm within a busy world, a thoughtful soul taking the time to explore and embrace communion with nature.

Each intricate, powerfully visual piece was designed with the environment and natural surroundings in mind – SNIK used deliberately-muted color palettes to preserve and respect the peaceful partnership between the island and those who choose to call it home.

snik, exhale

A final piece, Overcome, was painted in Stavanger, a Norwegian city no stranger to contemporary art and previously hosting two of SNIK’s works. In this piece, created on a building sited in parkland, the steady creep of overgrowth has followed SNIK from the island and back to the city, a striking reminder of nature’s inescapable reclamation.

snik, exhale, overcome
snik, exhale, overcome

The project was documented by filmmaker Doug Gillen, longtime collaborator and friend of SNIK. Gillen captured the essence and vitality of the murals alongside the island’s unique natural beauty. 

EXHALE by SNIK from snik arts on Vimeo.

Utsira videography & photography by Doug Gillen - IG @douggillen

Stavanger photography by Brian Tallman - IG @bktallman

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