Scan Magazine, Issue 115, August 2018

Page 104

Artist of the month, Norway

Art with an inner light Controversial but popular painter Dag Hol has never been one to hide in the shadows. Going against the current and ever-changing fashions in art, he creates magnificent landscapes inspired by romanticism and old painting techniques. This has earned him some of the biggest crowds recorded at exhibitions in Norway, but also a reputation as the ‘odd one out’ amongst the art elite in his native country. By Alyssa Nilsen

Hol did his first drawing at the tender age of six — a piece that has since gone missing, unfortunately. Nevertheless, it was good enough to light a spark in the young boy, and, as a teenager, he would strap his easel to his back and head out into the woods to paint the surrounding landscapes. In his late teens, he was introduced to Acem meditation. He pondered moving to India to become a yogi, but realised that he could practice and learn 104  |  Issue 115  |  August 2018

locally — that it was not so much about where he was, as about what he did. He went on to study languages, literature and art, and finds that the philosophy that was a part of these studies has helped his understanding of art and art history. “Languages, art, philosophy, meditation — all these different things have melted into one big interest,” he says. “They’re all connected.”

The close relationship between meditation and creation is something that is completely intrinsic to Hol’s life and work. It is not at all religious, but something all-encompassing that affects life, love and his art. “I’ve been meditating for 46 years,” he says, “so I’m quite advanced. When I meditate, I can often do up to 30 or 50 hours in one sitting. The things you work with at that point transcend normal emotional presence and turn into something more timeless. And that has affected my painting a lot.” He describes the process of painting a picture as a combination of meditation, philosophy and psychology. He will sit still for hours, spending the same amount of time thinking and reflecting

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