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livonian værksted Reflections on coastal memories, Livonia to Skagen. Isla Badenoch - Hannah Wood


Livonian Værksted is a collaborative visual project between artist Isla Badenoch and architect Hannah Wood, both formerly of the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Copenhagen. It draws inspiration from two unusual and yet comparable locations: the disappearance of a culture known as the Livonians in the North coastline of western Latvia and the Danish town of Skagen, the Northern-most tip of Jutland. Our artistic production will draw on reflections made from two field trips during October 2016. From first-hand research, we will begin a ‘workshop’ process of visual collage and experimentation to form a reflective narrative that gives an impression of these two distant yet connected cultures. The project will map impressions and ideas between the two sites and the people we meet there. Livonian Værksted will explore the connections between the fading traditional communities of Livonia with Skagen in Denmark, asking whether the visual arts can create an alternative history when official archives fail to record the past. We intend to pursue a representational process which centres around both intalgio etching and photogravure techniques, combined with collage and digital production (for example photographic and film work) of which we both have former experience. We will make use of the various workshops within Statens Værksted in which to prepare several art pieces intended for exhibition in both Denmark and Latvia. The project will also begin potential for further collaborations between the two countries within the artist community we will meet, while bridging a shared cultural memory of the two cultures through visually engaging artworks.


Images 01_’Mooring place for boats at Lielirve’ Lauri Kettunen, 1920 (photograph) 02_’Grand Central Cold Spring’ Isla Badenoch, 2015 (photogauvre) 03_’Darul Adalat’ Hannah Wood, 2014 (pencil / photogauvre)


impression 01

impression 02

livonia, latvia


The Livonian region lies close to the Slīteres National Park on Latvia’s north-western seaboard. The area has witnessed a series of recent social and political transitions, such as the incursion and subsequent collapse of the former Soviet Union, which have threatened the traditional Livonian culture and lifestyle.

Our second location is Skagen, a coastal region of the Jutland peninsula once one of the largest fishing communities in Denmark. It gained notoriety from the ‘Skagen Painters’, a breakaway artistic community that trained in impressionism in the Paris school and settled in the area during the 1870’s. Their focus on the intricacies of light and the changing coastline, mirroring that of Skagen’s coastal landscape, we take as inspiration for the project.

Today it is estimated that there are only 200 Latvians who identify as Livonian, around 20 of which are considered native speakers of the language. This coastal dwelling community is now one of the most threatened traditional cultures in Europe, vastly unrecorded and appears to be quickly fading away without hope of recovering the lost memories of those that once lived and worked in the area.

Peder Severin Krøyer, one of the most notorious Skagen Painters, drew on the light of the evening ‘Blue Hour’, the vanishing point where water and sky appear to optically merge. Despite their sensitivity to the unique properties of the Danish shoreline, they also aspired to capture scenes of local social gatherings. Livonian Værksted aspires to capture impressions both of the landscape and those who inhabit it, to provide a reflection of what it is to inhabit a Danish coastal community in 2016.

Images (& overleaf) 04_’Drying nets on the Lūžņa seashore’ Vilho Setälä, 1912 (photograph) 05_’ A fishing rod with two hooks and a spoon’ Vilho Setälä, 1912 (photograph) 06_ ‘Osteria in_Ravello’ Peder Severin Krøyer, 1890 (oil painting) 07_’The Burrnesha Archive’ Isla Badenoch, 2016 (photograph) 08_’Darul Adalat’ Hannah Wood, 2015 (pencil / photogravure / etching) 09_’Grand Central Cold Spring’ Isla Badenoch, 2014 (photogravure) 10_’Living Library’ Hannah Wood, 2015 (pencil / photogravure / etching) 11_’Beach Shell’ Hannah Wood, 2009 (biro)


12_’Tønder’ Isla Badenoch, 2014 (film)

These seemingly distant locations and cultures of Skagen and Livonia share common characteristics both in their geographical framing, holding headland meeting points, and in the traditional fishing communities which seem, in our first investigations, to slowly be vanishing. What myths and memories can be found in these disparate locations? How can the existing documentation of life in Skagen possibly re-imagine the lost communities of Livonia?









isla badenoch

hannah wood

Isla has worked in the documentary & fiction film industries for the past 5 years as well as numerous arts and cultural projects. Her artistic work draws upon her interest in hidden or underrepresented narratives, working in film, photography and collage, to investigate the spaces between fact and fiction to produce imaginative visual narratives. Her last award-winning project, The Burrnesha Archive (awarded the Marie Månssons Travel Grant 2016) investigates the vanishing cultural phenomenon of the Burrnesha in Northern Albania. Her experience in investigating with sensitivity makes her collaboration with Hannah Wood in the Livonian Værksted an exciting prospect for developing an interesting visual style.

Hannah considers engaging architecture to be underpinned by material and locality, defining place while possessing a sculptural quality. Built from an understanding of detail and process, she believes design can hold the agency to empower and inspire. Concepts of refurbishment and intervention form a narrative that runs throughout both her built work, which spans a number of global contexts. In 2014 she co-founded the nomadic research collective, Freiraum Kollektive, which aims to interrogate the boundaries of cultural theory and make architectural decision-making available to those on the margins of society. As a writer, she has published mainly within the field of design journalism, more recently with a focus on urbanism.

Academic History MA Visual Culture; Identity, 2016 Royal Danish Academy of Fine Art, Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation

Academic History MA Political Architecture, 2016 Royal Danish Academy of Fine Art, Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation

BA English Literature, 2012 University of Sheffield, UK (First Class Honours)

BA Architecture, 2012 University of Sheffield, UK (First Class Honours)

Relevant work experience ValstedBrask, DK Creative Producer, July 2015 - Present

Relevant work experience Emergency Architecture & Human Rights, DK Architectural designer, Jan 2016 - present visual artist - writer

Monty Funk Productions, UK AV Projects Assistant, May 2014 - December 2014 Article Magazine, UK Features & Online Writer/Editor, Jan 2011 - Aug 2013 Personal Projects / Exhibitions Photograph exhibited, Copenhagen Photography Festival, 2015 (Pavilion 11) Youth Jury, Sheffield Doc/Fest, article written for The Guardian Book Exhibition at BLOC Gallery, 2012, Sheffield. Oikos ‘Jellyfish Theatre’ Project, London Festival of Architecture, 2010. Exhibition / Installation, Storying Sheffield, Jessop West Gallery, Sheffield 2011. Selected Commissions, Collaborations & Awards The Burrnesha Archive (2016) Storying Sheffield (2011- 2012) Seeing Stars: Simon Armitage Soundscape (2011) Skills Cinematography - Canon 5D mark ii/iii, Analogue Adobe Creative Suite (InDesign, Photoshop, Premiere Pro), Hand-drawing and illustration Etching Certificate (Slade School of Fine Art, London, July 2015)

(+45) 52 60 58 02 Sankt Annae Gade 12, København V 1416, Danmark architect - writer

LOBBY magazine, UK Contributing writer, Feb 2015 - present Carmody Groarke, UK Architectural designer Sept 2012 - Sept 2013 University of Sheffield, School of Architecture , UK Digital editor, May 2012 Personal Projects / Exhibitions Freiraum Kollektive Co-founder. Oct 2014 ‘Mapping Architectural Resilience on the Silk Road’ exhibited in Copenhagen Dec 2015. Woodland Studio Architect, founder. Feb 2013 Conferences Art and Politics in Postwar Japan , DK Speaker May 2016 War and Archtecture, IT Participant, June - July 2015 Skills Architectural draughtsmanship / sketching Adobe Suite (Illustrator / Photoshop / Indesign) Physical model making / welding / etching / printmaking Basic web programming

(+45) 31 62 50 72 Rektorparken 1, København 2450, Danmark

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Livonian Værksted  

Livonian Værksted