Oddbjørg REINTON © 2021

During an artist in residence stay in Norway in September / October 2014 I experienced the so-called lemming year. It was with mixed feelings, and I asked myself questions about the role of these small mammals in the ecosystem.

In a research study published in 2012 in Nature Climate Change magazine, it was found that the impact of a lemming year in the biomass of field-layer vegetation is so huge that it actually can be revealed in satellite images. The impacts of lemmings during population peaks are significant and help other species to grow in number…
Thus, the lemmings became a self-evident subject. In these three canvases I worked the notion of border(lines) / boundaries (“grenser”) :

- Geographical borders: traced, drawn and recorded lines; boundary stones, border disputes and agreements; overstepping and moving of borders, especially of the often forgotten one: the ice border.

-  Borderlines of moral or ethical concerns : The cruel myth of the suicide march invented by Disney in White Wilderness (1958), pushing lemmings from a cliff, in fact committing a mass murder !
The myth of the nasty, stupid Troll : In Hallingtrollet it is saving lemmings from falling from the cliff…Who is the guilty troll and where is the troll within us who should take a stand?

- We seem to be surprised at the climates changes even if it should not come as a surprise to anyone. The consequences are seemingly without limits.
I wanted to create a symbolic confrontation between warmth (heat) and the cold; the South and the North, and I used sand coming from Sahara while I was painting in Leveld.

Borderline I, acrylic and sand on canvas, 120 x 120 cm, 2014

Borderline I, acrylic and sand on canvas, 120 x 120 cm, 2014 (sold)

Borderline II, acrylic and sand on canvas, 120 x 120 cm, 2014

Borderline II, acrylic and sand on canvas, 120 x 120 cm, 2014

Borderline II, acrylic and sand on canvas, 120 x 120 cm, 2014

Borderline III, Skarve Hallingtrollet,
acrylic and sand on canvas, 120 x 120 cm, 2014

Under et arbeidsopphold i Norge i september /oktober 2014 var det med blandede følelser jeg var vitne til det såkalte lemenåret. Jeg stilte meg spørsmålet om hvilken rolle lemen har i økosystemet.
I en studie som ble publisert i tidsskriftet Nature Climate Change i 2012 -  forskning.no -  ble det fastslått at omfanget av lemenår er så stort at de kan registreres på satellittbilder og at lemen i stor grad påvirker biomassen. Gode lemenbestander gir høyt mangfold av andre arter …
Dermed ble lemen et selvsagt motiv. I de tre bildene tok jeg for meg begrepet grenser :
- Geografiske grenser : avmerkede og godkjente grenser, grensesteiner, grensekonflikter, grensegang, overskriding og flytting av grenser, ikke minst av isgrensen.
- Moralske eller etiske grenser : Myten om selvmordsmarsjen som Disney skapte i White Wilderness (1958), ved å dytte lemen utfor stup; i realiteten var det massemord !
Myten om det slemme, dumme  trollet…Hallingtrollet mitt redder lemen fra stupet. Hvem er trollet som har skylda og hvor er trollet i oss som burde reagere ?
- Klimaendringene overrasker oss til stadighet til tross for det vi vet. Konsekvensene virker grenseløse.
Jeg ville skape en symbolsk konfrontasjon mellon varme og kulde, sør og nord og brukte sand fra Sahara i bildene som ble til i Leveld.

Lemmings... 

childhood memories