Exhibition
Landskap fra Hadeland
OSL Contemporary
Mars 2024

Boklansering og utstilling

Landskap fra Hadeland

(Edited extract from Bjørn Hatterud’s text “i skogen kan vi legge fra oss alt” for the book “Landskap fra Hadeland”)

Let us look more closely at Berntsen’s new pictures. In the gallery space, the discreetly framed works hang side by side around the room and form a frieze. The order in which they appear in the frieze is the same as they are reproduced in the book.

The motifs are tangible. They are drawn from the woods behind Berntsen’s studio and the view from her studio window. At the same time, some of the motifs have been abstracted into lines, fields, colours and gestures. Although we can recognise outlines and shapes from the woods and the view, even in the most abstract representations, they draw on various non-figurative artists, ranging from Wassily Kandinsky (1866–1944) to Günther Förg (1952–2013). In some of the drawings, the woods and the view are reproduced in a way that is perceptible to all. In others, they are presented as Berntsen experiences them.

In recent years, Berntsen has explored the potential of various types of oil pastels. By using five different brands, she has around 400 colours to choose from. As she works her way through the woods and the landscape, the process is both documentation, experimentation and meditation. The pastels are sometimes used on found paper that she reuses, other times on paper made of recycled materials. 

Together the pictures form a wider landscape. They are just as much a narrative, bringing us through the woods, behind the light beneath the tree canopy, out to the view. At the same time, we can also read the works as a journey inward, in pursuit of what Olav H. Hauge referred to as a shelter in the woods, a place in the mind for internal productive calm. A place to work artistically in peace.