January 8, 2019

Shooting an Artist Portrait – Part 1

Lucky Start

As a company specialising in creating content for art galleries, we were missing one thing from our portfolio, an in-depth Artist Portrait. We have created some mini-portraits in addition to the exhibition videos, art piece videos and promotions for art fairs in the past, but no in-depth video portrait. So when we were presented with the opportunity to make a documentary about the very talented artist Kristian Evju, it was an easy choice.

Kristian is an acclaimed Norwegian artist based in London, he has won several prizes for his exquisitely detailed pencil drawings and paintings. I, however, had some extra incentive to work with Kristian on his artist portrait; we had both grown up in the same part of Norway in the 80s and 90s and crossed paths a few times in Kongsberg, a town in Norway. Without knowing it, we had also moved to the UK to study at the same time, Kristian to Scotland and I to Surrey, 15 years later our paths would cross again.

I had followed Kristian’s success over the years and chatted to him now and again over Facebook, but it was not until I founded Film Yard Art and we were working in the same field that we would meet again.

One of Kristian’s paintings in his studio.

Meeting in Soho and Filming in Brixton

Kristian and I met in November at House of St Barnabas in Soho and it immediately became clear that we wanted to work together on this artist portrait, our common background meant we had a similar vision on the look and content.

At the beginning of December, we did the first part of the filming of Kristian’s artist portrait at his studio in Brixton. He was about to start a new larger painting and we took the opportunity to set up two GoPros to capture a timelapse of the process. Kristian’s style of paintings and technique requires a certain attention to detail and patience, a large painting can take over a month to complete, even if he works long hours every day. For me, this was important to capture and show in the final video.

We also took the opportunity to film some B-Roll of the preparation; hanging off the canvas, in this case, a round canvas, shots of his tools, 100s of pencils, brushes and paint.

Kristian in his studio in Brixton.

Going to Norway

A few weeks later Kristian was heading back to his childhood home in Lyngdal, a small village of only 300 inhabitants north of Kongsberg in Norway. Growing up in such a remote village in the Norwegian mountains, to artist parents, has shaped Kristian as an artist and his style in many ways and an element we wanted to include in the artist portrait.

Not only is Bergtun, the name of the ‘farm’ his father built as Kristian grew up, a fantastic location to film, but my friends back home had told me they had already had snow, so I knew that we would get some beautiful footage up in the mountains.

Thursday 14th of December, together with a childhood friend of mine, I headed up into the mountains in a car filled with film equipment and a drone, of course. However, there are two challenges filming in the Norwegian winter, very short days and extreme cold!

Flying into Norway we were greeted by the snowy mountains.

Next week you can find out how it went when filming in ‘winter Norway’.

If you are looking for an Artist Portrait for one of your artists then please do get in touch here or drop me an email Jonas@filmyardart.com

You can check our Kristian Evju’s amazing work here: http://www.kristianevju.com/