New England native and New Hampshire based artist, Jocelyn Toffic, has been invited to a one-month residency at HEIMA in Seydisfjordur, Iceland in March of 2014. Here she will diligently make studies of both her surrounding landscape and her 11-year-old daughter, who will be accompanying her. She hopes to make at least ten works a day and as many as twenty on good days. An excess of drawings and paintings (300-400 total) will be rendered using charcoal, graphite, pen and ink, casien, gouache, watercolour, and possibly lava dust. These works, as well as larger oil paintings based on her study abroad will be presented at a solo show at BUOY gallery in Kittery, Maine in the summer of 2014.
Jocelyn and her daughter will fly to Reykjavik on the West coast of the country, then take a short flight in a terrifyingly small plane to the East coast, then travel by car through a winter mountain pass, finally coming to rest in Seydisfjordur. Here is a remote village with a population of 668. The town sits on a fjord and is watched over by giant ancient glacier scarred mountains and was settled by a someone named Bjolfur, who you want to be a Viking, but is probably a Norwegian fisherman. Either way, good name. There are wooden structures carbon dated from the 10th century, and waterfalls, and aurora borealis, and according to a significant percentage of the Icelandic population –elves. There is photographic evidence of the first three, so it’s all probably true. Here in the beautiful stillness of an Iceland still gripped by the last days of winter, the artist will launch an investigation of her surroundings, of herself and of her daughter, who is at that poignant Balthus stage, still a child but on the threshold of adolescence. That stage where splashing in puddles can be pure joy one second and utter boredom the next. It’s an exciting and excruciating time, one that deserves a month of rapt attention. While 300 works is an ambitious goal, Jocelyn will not be relying solely on a somewhat unwilling (or totally willing, depending on the moment) tween model. She will have the landscape as well as her own figure to draw from. There will be no shortage of inspiration.
The Artist Jtoffic.com
Heima artist residency http://www.h-e-i-m-a.com/
BUOY Gallery buoygallery.org
**Music for this video was graciously provided by Nat Baldwin, Internationally renowned, but most beloved in Maine (and also parts of New Hampshire). Lake Eerie is off his 2007 album Most Valuable Player https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/most-valuable-player/id277486905
Risks and challenges
From the Artist:
I am over the moon at the opportunity to focus on my art in such an amazing place, and I am deeply honored to have been selected by HEIMA. However, this is a massive and intimidating expense. Flights alone are close to $1,500, add to that the cost of materials and food while in country. There are also bills back home to pay while away. Please know that for all your help and encouragement, I am so very grateful. Even if it’s just your words instead of cash, it means so much to me. For every person who has told me (including myself) “You can not do this”, there has been so many of you behind that person who has said, “Of course you can”. I would not have gotten this far without the support of my community and I love you all. I mean it.
Iceland is so beautiful and seems like such a solitary and unashamed and fearless place. I want to be like this place. I want my daughter to be like this place.
Thank You Forever,
- (22 days)