Scan Magazine, Issue 99, April 2017

Page 108

Norwegian artist Lone Slydahl opened up her very own gallery in Tromsø, Norway in April 2016.

Artist of the Month, Norway

When painting heals the artist Norwegian artist Lone Slydahl won a five-year battle against illness by dusting off her paint brushes and following her childhood dream of becoming an artist and opening her own gallery – a dream she never dared to think would materialise.

sparked any joy, until one night on maternity leave she sat down and dusted off her old paint brushes.

By Line Elise Svanevik  |  Photos: Truls Melbye Tiller

In many ways, this night marked the beginning of her road to recovery. Although she did not realise it at the time, painting would become the thing that saved Slydahl and brought her the immense joy she had been missing for so long.

Slydahl treasures those rare moments when she manages to shut the world out and just be with herself and her art, which she creates with high-quality acrylics on canvas. “The days when I feel like the paint brush takes over and I’m merely a spectator – those are the days I feel like I create something real,” says Slydahl. Born and raised in the northern Norwegian city of Tromsø, Slydahl worked as a hairdresser for seven years before diving into the world of arts full time. “I’ve always loved painting and drawing, and in school, the teachers encouraged me to 108  |  Issue 99  |  April 2017

pursue the arts,” she explains. “Back then, I chose to go down the safe route, but being an artist was always a distant and romantic dream. In the end, I lost myself completely.”

Saved by her own art Slydahl became very ill in her early twenties and battled both bulimia and depression, which deeply affected her whole life and wellbeing – and painting was suddenly a thing of the past. She attempted counselling, read selfhelp books and even tried travelling the world, but none of these external factors

“I didn’t paint for the five years I was ill and, with hindsight, I’ve realised that I lived on the outside of myself, and that’s why it was completely unnatural for me to create anything real,” says Slydahl. “I became more ill by the day and pushed myself away from my true self.” That first evening when she started painting again, she was suddenly overwhelmed

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