Cervo, Beyond Culture

The Cabin Essence - Artists in Residence - Report by Linda Kristiansen


My experience of the Cabin Essence and CERVO Zermatt began, not on arrival, but already a weeks before. I got the email inviting me to come and from that moment, upon accepting the offer, I felt a welcomed shift in my daily thinking. This could not have come at a better time in my artistic journey and CERVO was the perfect place for me to go.

I have been creating conceptual photobased images, for 8 years. Most of this time I was quite clear on my process and that my art was my way to express myself in this world. Therapeutic and meditative everytime, and the personal connection I get to my pieces is a an amazing feeling. 

Starting out it was very natural for me to use self portraiture as my main tool. The feeling was mine, personal, so using a model at times made me feel like it took away some of the closeness I had to each concept. The process was clear, the core of each concept, the symbolism and layering. Still with an evolution in arriving at the end result. I have gone in a few different directions when it comes to the editing part, and enjoy using new techniques and experimenting with all the possibilities my tools can provide. 

The last few years, not doing a lot of selfportrait based work anymore, I have been searching for a new way forward. In this world now oversaturated with art of every kind in every social media, everywhere you look, I think I lost my footing somewhere along the way.

I needed to clear away some of the "noise" and find my own reason again to keep being a creative person. Something resembeling that feeling I startet out with. Not creating for others, not for commercial reasons, and to be honest its not even about the techniqual quality. Its about me creating what I feel like expressing. Thats it. These are the only thing I want to worry about. 

Is it me? Am I being true to myself? What is my creative purpose? 

This experience at CERVO was a true gift. 
To be able to step away from daily life, surrounding myself with amazing nature, yummi food, all the warm and welcoming people at CERVO and the time to enjoy it all.
Time to exhale, philosophize and open up to whatever creative urge I would get.
Time to just be present.  

During my stay the hotel was beautifully decorated with the seasons colors.
Everywhere I would see dried flowers and straws perfectly complimenting the changing of the seasons outside as well as inside. I kept a journal and had a good flow of ideas coming through, at the end it was still the decorations, ambiance and overall inspiring experience that came through.

I asked to borrow some of the dried flowers and within an hour had a case of them delivered to my room. I then photographed and created this piece as a symbolism of my experience.

It is called “Autumn inspiration”.

After 3 weeks I went back home with renewed inspiration, a lot of stockphotos to use for future artpieces, and a sense of being more present in my own life. I mean – 3 weeks alone in a fantastic Swiss mountain lodge can not be had without some self exploration and if one is lucky, some personal development as well. Not to mention the constant possibility to challenge my fear of hights – which I also did several times. This all makes me smile just thinking about it.

Thank you CERVO! 

With love
Linda Kristiansen