Tales from the Forest

“Once upon a time it was all forest, Forest enough to be lost in it forever.” (Sara Maitland, Gossip from the Forest)

Forests are places of stories, mysteries, challenges and imagination.
In forests we can hide and seek, find gifts and perils and transform ourselves. And eventually reach knowledge and happiness ever after. Forest are symbols and have a powerful role in many narratives, but are now at risk. 

Tales from the Forest  was a five day residency program in the forestry peninsula of Hållnäs, Sweden, run by artists for artists. Six international illustrators were invited to spend five days with us, to reflect together about the relation between Forests and Narratives and the role of storytelling in creating our idea about what a forest is and all the mysteries, secrets and challenges it brings. 

The idea was to offer the artists a collective immersion into the Scandinavian forest, where they could meet, discuss and elaborate new perspectives about Forest and Storytelling. It was a collective experience with  time for walking, drawing, cooking, conversation and sharing our work with each other.

The six participating artists were Iris Compiet, Netherlands, Marina Marcolin, Italy, Gaëlle  Duhazé, France, and Alvaro Tapia, Mattias Adolfsson and Ulrika Kestere from Sweden.

The artists were asked to prepare a short Artist Talk and participate in a public workshop in Tierp for children, inviting the local community to take part in our work.

Tales from the forest is initiated by artist and illustrator Isabella Mazzanti (IT), and facilitated by performance designer Åsa Norling (SWE) and chef/biology teacher Alexander Peck (UK).

Tales from the forest was generously supported by Kulturutveckling Region Uppsala, IASPIS/The Swedish Arts Grant Committee and Tierps kommun.

We got very positive feedback from the participating artists in Tales from the Forest and hope to create similar opportunities in the future. If you are interested in participating in potential future Tales from the Forest, or have ideas of residencies or workshops you would like to develop with us, do email us on info@hallnaskonstkoloni.com.

Photos by Hållnäs Konstkoloni och Ulrika Kestere, illustrations by Isabella Mazzanti, Gaelle Duhazé and Mattias Adolfsson.