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International opportunities are a valuable way for young artists to discover new ways of working and discuss ideas. A group from Leicester travelled to Norway as part of a joint working programme.

UK New Artists (UKNA) worked with Platform Nord in Norway to deliver a new international joint working programme for young artists called ‘United’. The aim was to provide a better understanding of international working and the value of intercultural dialogue. The programme was delivered in two parts, starting in the UK in Leicester, with part two in Kristiansand, Norway.

In October 2019, UKNA staff and five young artists from the UK travelled to Kristiansand for Platform Nord, an annual exploration and celebration of contemporary Nordic art and artists. 

They attended presentations, exhibitions and talks by the Nordic artists, and on the last night each of the UK artists gave a presentation of their work. It was a great opportunity for all to get a sense of the artists taking part and also hear more about the Nordic art scene and discuss how it differs from the UK. During the visit they also had workshops and talks with a number of well-respected artists and professionals from across Europe.

3D artwork close-up
An artwork by Norweigian artist, Melina Fakitsa Mosland - part of exhibition collection called BLOOM.


Laura Evans from UKNA said: 

“UK New Artists and Platform Nord share a common mission - the bringing together of creative people from all cultures, backgrounds and artforms. This trip united visual artists, musicians, poets and performers from the UK, Norway, Iceland, Denmark, Cyprus, Italy and Iran. For a week, we were immersed in the cultural landscape of a new city.

“[This] was a fantastic opportunity to explore a new country, understand more about the art scene in the Nordic region and how important international collaborations are for new artists. It was also a perfect opportunity to sample excellent coffee and cakes from Kristiansand’s fantastic cafés!

“Opportunities such as this are so beneficial to the development of emerging artists and young people, not only for the creative work they make, but for the evolution of their viewpoints and understanding of the world. The Nordic and UK artists have built friendships and the foundations for international artistic collaboration - we can’t wait to see what they will create together in the future!”

Here is what the group had to say about their international experience:

“It’s so important to not only explore the world as a tourist, but also to meet and spend time with the people who live and work there. It’s the only way you can begin to understand the amazing cultures, traditions and people that make up this beautiful world!”

“I felt especially with the political climate as it is, it’s more important than ever to form connections with people from other places, cultures and backgrounds.”

“The creative work I had been doing was mostly limited to specific parts of the UK. I wanted to broaden my practice, absorb new ideas, fresh approaches and find new audiences, in the hope that my [artistic] work would develop as well as my career.”

“[The trip] gave me greater knowledge in general about different networks in the Nordic region. I was able to meet lots of different artists from various disciplines. ...I hope it will lead to more collaborations!”

“[It was] an opportunity to learn more about artistic practice, about working internationally, to make contacts. I think I gained a lot from it – being in Norway really opened my mind.”

Youth story by Eurodesk UK Partner, UK New Artists.


Interested in international projects and looking to start your own adventure? Visit our Go abroad pages to learn what you can do!