Svalbard as a Motif and a Place of Artistic Exploration

Insights from an Art Gallery Director


  • Jan Martin Berg Galleri Svalbard



Kåre Tveter, Solveig Egeland, Terje Roalkvam, Sigbjørn Bratlie, Risa Horowitz, Stein Henningsen, Galleri Svalbard, The Recherche expedition, Artist in residence, Trash people, Ocean Hope, The Schnork Institute of Arctic Research, Arctic Action, I set out to track the sun, HA Schult


The article outlines the history of artists’ exploration of Svalbard as a motif, and then proceeds to describe a number of more recent art practices by the artists relating to Svalbard in the new millennium. The article traces the artists’ development from being supporters of research by providing visual material, to becoming researchers in their own right.

Author Biography

Jan Martin Berg, Galleri Svalbard

Cand. Philol., Director at Galleri Svalbard. Latest publications: “SpareBank1 Nord-Norges kunststiftelses samling”in: Ljøgodt, Knut, and Charis Gullickson (eds): SpareBank 1 Nord-Norges kunstsamling: Utvalgte verker, exhibition catalogue, Nordnorsk Kunstmuseum, Tromsø 2011; “Grafikk i Nord-Norge – Noen historiske riss ‘fra provinsen’”, Kunst Pluss, 2011.


Biggs, Michael, Daniela Büchler and Simeon Nelson. 2009. “Social Dynamics of Knowledge Communication within Higher Education: The Case of an Art–Science Collaboration”, in Brito, C. D. R. and M. M. Ciampi (eds). Interactive Expansion of Knowledge: Communicating with Art in the Information Era: Proceedings of the World Congress on Communication and Arts (WCCA2011). São Paulo: COPEC - Science and Education Research Council, accessed 23 September 2019.

Borgdorff, Henk. 2009. Artistic Research within the Fields of Science. Bergen: Bergen National Academy of the Arts, accessed 23 September 2019.

Cederkvist, Tor. 2007. Landet som ikke er: Kåre Tveter – mannen og bildene. Skarnes: Galleri Lyshuset.

Johansen, Jan Otto. 1990. Vandringer med Kåre Tveter. Oslo: J. M. Stenersens forlag.

Knutsen, Nils Magne, and Per Posti (eds). 2002. La Recherche – en ekspedisjon mot nord. Tromsø: Angelica.

Leane, Elizabeth. 2011. “Introduction: The Cultural Turn in Antarctic Studies”. The Polar Journal 1 (2): 149–154.

Muszynski, Lisa. 2017. Unmaking History-as-Fiction: Decoupling the Two Incompatible Principles of Language in Hayden White's Linguistic Turn, 1970s–2000s (PhD thesis). University of Helsinki.




How to Cite

Berg, Jan Martin. 2020. “Svalbard as a Motif and a Place of Artistic Exploration: Insights from an Art Gallery Director”. Nordlit, no. 45 (February):175–191.