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A diary from inside the end

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In the beginning of each new week we publish a story about the week that just passed at the LungA School. It comes from the inside and can be about anything. This is the final chapter:
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My dear friends

Two weeks ago the LungA School Spring 2015 Program “Here Comes The Sun” ended and as with everything else that happened between the magical mountains, it feels like yesterday and a lifetime ago.

We had a lot to do in the last week and as always the weather did not take our plans into consideration! After spending 5 days on a perfect Final Exhibition Roadtrip to Akureyri and enjoying the warm spring weather, we woke up to snow, snow and more snow on Monday morning. Ignoring what some people might call common sense, we wrapped ourselves in wool, extra socks, big boots, white suits, hats, scarves, gloves. Once again we were ready. This time we would conquer the snow and go to Skàlanes!

Some thought it was fun, some thought it was terrible, some felt relief when Óli came with the car, some finished the long walk feeling more alive than ever. In the end we all ended up in the middle of nowhere, with no other plans than enjoying the view, the quietness, the company!

There were books, sauna, cheese fondue, foot chess, April Fools, storm, little people. There were reflections, letters, good advice, gratitude. We improvised an extra day, extra dinner, extra brunch. We left nobody behind (except for the Basque that stayed to do the laundry).

We snowshoed our way back to civilization with rosy cheeks and freckles.

From then on everything was for the last time. Last dinner in Skaftfell, last clean up in the studio, last dinner in the hostel, last dance in the bar, last night in our rooms, last brunch, last eye contact.

It was a quiet, remorable, appropriate, beautiful and strange ending. Maybe because we refused to think about it until the very last minute, maybe because we pretended that it was not going to happen, maybe because almost everybody stayed in Seyðisfjörður for several days after the final goodbye.

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A week ago I left LungA School, Seyðisfjörður, Iceland. At first sight it does not seem like anything has changed, but I know that this is not true. I have changed, because you changed me.

Looking back on the last three months, I realise how meaningful this adventure has been. It is difficult to capture in words and it is hard to explain what made this experience so profound, but in this gathering of multicoloured houses, surrounded by dark Icelandic mountains, we created a space of honesty, vulnerability, openness and truth. I am proud to have been a part of your life and I cannot express how grateful I am to have met each and everyone of you.

When I looked into your eyes on the last day, I tried to tell you how much it meant to me to be part of our group, how none of this would have been the same without you. That no matter where you end up in this world, you can stand up straight and know how privileged you made me feel just by being open, vulnerable and a hundred percent you.

Though it is hard to describe what happened these 12 weeks, what we discovered and how we felt – I am so happy to know, that from now on we are a part of a tribe that is bigger than our little group of Spring 2015. I cannot wait to meet the Beta Program, the Fall 2014 and all the future students, teachers, mentors that will become part of the LungA School family.

The end is the beginning of something new. Thank you for being you, thank you for letting me be me, thank you for inspiring me to continuing the adventure!

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A diary from inside the climax


In the beginning of each new week we publish a story about the week that just passed at the LungA School. It comes from the inside and can be about anything. This is the eleventh chapter:
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My dear friends

A week ago we had our Final Exhibition. An exhibition that exceeded all expectations. More creative, more personal, more professional, more beautiful than we could have imagined. It was a big exhibition, a long exhibition, a public exhibition. We looked at our work, we looked at our mentors, we looked at each other and we were happy, relieved, ecstatic and proud.

But before this delightful moment happened in Akureyri, the snow fell in Seyðisfjörður. We filmed ourselves crying, we had tons of drawings to complete, we battled with technology, we had sleepless nights and the last lunch in Herðubreið.

We gathered everything we needed for the exhibition – old Nutella jars, frameless windows, broken mirrors, a guitar missing a string. We packed our toothbrush, we bought snacks, we chose our seat in the minibusses and we made epic mixtapes.

We listened to electronic rave, 90’ies ballads and the Prince of Darkness, while we drove through the marvelous, magical, beautiful, ever changing landscape of Iceland. We looked for Loch Ness’ cousin. We crossed rivers, flat lands and lava rocks. We saw mountains, volcanoes and hotsprings.

Great mountain sides and trees along the fjord shores welcomed us when we drove into Akureyri. We met the amazing KAKTUS crew, moved into our intimate sleeping situation, got to know our surroundings. We went to the pool to shower and swim under the open sky. We had coffee and admired the vast selection of stationery. We tried to adapt to the large amounts of traffic and people. We had breakfast in a gallery next door. We became very familiar with the salad bar in the restaurant down on the corner.

We were invited to your house and were surprised, moved and grateful for the kindness, the wine, the delicious food. We gave up the vegetarian lifestyle, got a new nose ring, searched the house for baby pictures.

We went to the gallery and began to shape it into our own. We discussed, we planned, we divided the space into sections. We projected videos through bended glass. We filled a room with sand and rocks. We made a rainy cloud of feelings. We shattered mirrors on the floor. We built a secret sound installation behind heavy curtains. We made new lamps. We turned up the volume. We had a birthday celebration. We prepared for the big opening.

And what an opening! Balloons, snacks, punch, old friends, new friends, family, cool people, art people, many people! Installations, video art, soundscapes, feelings, creativity, photography, movements, music, screams, reflections, performances, poetry readings, sounds, deleting.

Afterparty in the studio, climbing walls, celebrating the success, giggling in the night.

And when it all ended so unbelievably fast, we did the most prompt cleaning ever by the Walmart people. We celebrated with horsemeat steak on toast (and salad bar), drank Irish coffee dessert, had a red wine gathering upstairs. We talked about space engineers, old school mates, the exhibition, the traffic, the weather.

We repacked the minibusses, traveled back through the enchanting Icelandic scenery and had the best adventure surprise!

Out of the minibusses. Stand in the cold. Surrounded by black lava rocks and snow. Go through all luggage to find bathing clothes. Walk on sharp cliffs. Climb the barbed wire fence. Follow the gap of the earth. Cold hands. Cold feet. Go down the canyon without knowing what is waiting and only a rope to guide you. Secret cave. Warm water. Natural hot tub. Magic!

11 weeks of learning, listening, talking, giving, enjoying, reflecting, laughing and experimenting led us to the Final Exhibition in Akureyri. 11 weeks gave us the confidence to expose ourselves, to be vulnerable and to let the world experience a glimpse of our adventure. 11 weeks of fascination, curiosity and openness towards unknown people, medias and processes, made it possible to create an outstanding exhibition. Thank you to all who came by to see our show, thank you to the KAKTUS crew and thank you, Laura Tack and Alex Carr for joining our LungA adventure.

A diary from inside the solar eclipse

In the beginning of each new week we publish a story about the week that just passed at the LungA School. It comes from the inside and can be about anything. This is the tenth chapter:
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My dear friends

A week ago a magical week began. A week of spring. A week of winter. A week with a solar eclipse seen from the majestic mountains that is the border between us and them. Seydisfjordur and Iceland. LungA and the world.

Surrounded by clouds in a scenery of black and white, we glimpsed the sun disappearing. Turning the world dark, grey, quiet. Except from our ecstatic cries of wonder of course. We saw a herd of reindeer, we saw black ravens. We felt the magic of the moment and the expectations for the future.

Last week we started working. Working with the inspiration, the knowledge, the themes that all together have formed the previous ten weeks of studying at the LungA School. We have been introduced to many different medias, many different ways of working, many different ways of thinking.

Now we ripped it all apart, reflected upon it and selected, shaped and formed our own understanding of the process, the art, the truth. It was difficult, it was annoying, it was extremely frustrating! But as the days went by, we seemed to find our ways and allowed ourselves to follow the paths that lead us to Akureyri and the Final Exhibition.

We built cameras from cardboard, we danced in the squat house. We made a crown of twigs and crystals, we improvised on the cello, we drew for hours, we formed a cloud. We were given crazy challenges, we ate a jar of Nutella, we kept it secret.

We moved to the island in the pond and slept in a tent for two days. We slept in Herðubreið, we almost did not sleep at all, we slept a whole day away. We had a radio party, a Facebook-like party, a kitchen party. We worked in the studio, the theater, the office, the hostel, the church, the cold outdoors, the dark room in the old book store. We enjoyed a long walk in the sun, shared a snackpizza, waited to get our picture taken, wrote four lines poetry.

It is a strange feeling knowing that our stay in Seyðisfjörður is coming to an end. The last 10 weeks have gone by so slowly, so fast, so many days, so few hours. We only just arrived, last week is forever ago. Friday seems far away, but we are racing against time. We look around town, feeling as if we are home. We look at each other, realizing we have a new family. Let us fill the last two weeks with great memories, smiling eyes, laughter and live the adventure to the fullest!

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Program of the week – 11

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Monday is upon us again and we are continuing our final workshop. More than ever, now is the time to dive into ideas, medias and the art of creating, to make sure that our Final Exhibition this Friday will push the boundaries of what we thought we were capable to do.

We are working in dark rooms, in the freezing water, in the theater, in the kitchen. In the morning, in the evening, in the middle of the night. We will show you photographies, visuals, performances, music and a lot more – but first we have a few days of hard work ahead of us!

On Wednesday we will pack two busses with students, teachers, interns, mentors and art and we will drive to Akureyri in the north to set up our Final Exhibition in the KAKTUS gallery. We are more than happy about this collaboration and look very much forward to spending the rest of the week in Akureyri!

A part from working, creating and setting up the show, we are going to enjoy our stay in Akureyri with delicious food, nice company and freshly baked croissants! It will be an intense couple of days, with lots of emotions, many people living together and no personal space. Nothing else to do than enjoy the moment, make the most of it and have a fantastic time!

We hope to see as many of you as possible at the KAKTUS gallery in Akureyri on Friday the 27th of March at 20.00!

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A diary from inside the questions


In the beginning of each new week we publish a story about the week that just passed at the LungA School. It comes from the inside and can be about anything. This is the ninth chapter:

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My dear friends

A week ago we changed the theater into a living situation. We brought in the rug, wrapped ourselves in blankets and drank a lot of coffee. We made the couches form a circle in which we could talk freely, discussing big questions. What kind of future has already been created by the myths and metaphors of our culture? Is it still a future we expect or have the myths failed? How can we make contact with the futures we want that are still beyond our personal horizon? How to live in these questions?

We talked, we discussed, we thought, we concentrated. Documentation, visuals, writings, free assignments.

Big Ideas, George & Ahmad, The Truth Mandala. We wrote about fame, nonsense and the gaps between stories. We sketched, we painted, we made the maps of our futures.

We worked together and we worked individually. We created content. We made a book. Everyday is about everything. We invited the town to get a glimpse of our narratives, realizations and possible futures at a Friday night (book)launch.

While a storm raged across the island, we enjoyed our second glimpse of Icelandic spring. A warm breeze came from the mountains, melted the ice and the sun came through the windows of the office that turned into a book binding studio.

After quite a quest involving stepfathers, grandmothers, tourists from the Faroe Islands, a restaurant in Reykjavik, cancelled planes and a closed mountain, we managed to have the infamous whale fondue feast. We turned the feast into a party. We put on glitter and jewellery and became the dancing queens of Café Lara. In the end there was only one way to finish the week and so we indulged in dessert pizza enjoying the cozy time.

Nine weeks have gone since we moved into the hostel together. We are better friends than ever, we know more about each other. We trust, question, listen, dance, sing. We are excited about the weeks to come, the final workshop, the final exhibition, the final days. We fill the hours with more smiles, laughter and hugs than before, because we have three weeks left of the LungA adventure and they are going to be awesome!

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Program of the week – 10

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After a very stormy weekend we are ready to begin another exciting week in the LungA School. For the past weeks we have been exploring, experimenting and exhibiting to prepare ourselves for this week. Now we begin the Final Workshop.

We have had a range of different workshops and worked with many exciting medias, materials and teachers. We have been gathering inspiration, knowledge and practice and now we have the chance to combine it all. The students have the opportunity to go back into some of the medias they have been introduced to, set up the frames for their own process and go deeper into what fascinates them.

This is the time to enjoy the possibilities of our surroundings, openness and the culture we have built up during our stay in Seyðisfjörður. To have fun with the process and let ourselves get drawn into the art of creating.

To help us indulge in this workshop, we are happy to welcome two artists, Alexandra Carr and Laura Tack, who are currently living in the Heima residence. Together they have a lot of experience in very different medias such as ceramics, science, sound, painting and sculpture.

The students are both the artists and the curators of this week. Besides creating their own individual pieces, they are also to set up the final exhibition so it becomes a coherent experience in itself. We will have the final exhibition in KAKTUS in Akureyri on the 27th of March. Be sure to follow us on Facebook to get more information about this event!

Tomorrow evening we are having a radio party with sound artist, Anna Friz, who are collaborating with Skálar and currently working with different sound pieces in Seyðisfjörður. She will join us in the hostel and we are very curious to see what the evening will bring!

A part from a raging storm on the other side of the mountains that separates us from the rest of Iceland, the weather is mild and warm, the snow is melting and we are enjoying glimpses of spring and sunshine. We are thrilled to get started with week 10!

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