The 2017 festival profiles: Mari Lotherington and Silje Halstensen

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Mari Lotherington og Silje Halstensen er festspillprofiler for Festspillene i Nord-Norge i 2017.
Mari Lotherington og Silje Halstensen er festspillprofiler for Festspillene i Nord-Norge i 2017.

The Arctic Arts Festival has selected scenographer Mari Lotherington (28) and artist Silje Halstensen (26) as the festival profiles of 2017.

New stories from the North

The Arctic Arts Festival aspires to reflect contemporary northern identity through sharing new stories from the north. A cooperation across genres between the festival profiles and other artists can create new and innovative expressions.

- The Arctic Arts Festival will use the festival profile initiative to cooperate with and highlight young artists from the north. Inspiring innovation and development through increasing the range of the types and the combination of profiles is an important ambition for the festival. As a consequence, our northern stories can reach further and contribute to defining the North, says festival director Maria Utsi.

The festival profiles will influence the Arctic Arts Festival in 2017 through participating in several projects with different artists.

- The unique opportunity as a profile to develop their artistic expression through extra visibility and interesting collaborations are important reasons why the Arctic Arts Festival choses to focus on the festival profile initiative, explains Utsi.

Young scenographer and visual artist

Mari Lotherington is a Norwegian set and costume designer for performance. She has worked with theatre, opera and contemporary dance throughout Norway and the UK, and has been involved in film projects. She graduated from Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts in 2013 and is currently taking her masters degree in theatre - specializing in scenography - at the Norwegian National Academy for the Arts in Oslo.

- Even though she is in the beginning of her career, Mari has already made an impression in the Norwegian performing arts scene. She has an exciting, challenging and clear artistic voice, and we think it is particularly interesting that the professional scope in her work has a wide range, says Utsi.

Lotherington will participate in projects across genres, and looks forward to practise her role as scenographer in collaboration with other artists.

- As a newly established visual artist working in the performing arts, I feel I can contribute with a new dimension as a festival profile. Many scenographers are also visual artists and work alone. I am interested in the art of scenography in itself and the method of collaboration that evolves in the projects between the scenographer, artist, project manager and the audience, says Mari Lotherington.

Artist with great potential and ambitions

Silje Halstensen has had great success with her band project Bendik, which has developed since she studied music technology at NTNU in Trondheim. She already showed great potential as the young artist of the year at the Arctic Arts Festival in 2011. Halstensen also received national attention through a music competition for up-and-coming bands, Urørt, hosted by national broadcaster NRK P3. She has received excellent reviews of her albums, and was nominated pop singer of the year in the annual music awards Spellemannsprisen (Norwegian version of the Grammy Awards).

- We've followed Silje’s career since 2011, and with both commercial success, and her great range and attitude in what she does, we find her an obvious choice as one of our festival profiles in 2017, says an enthusiastic Utsi.

Halstensen looks forward to creating new material for the Arctic Arts Festival.

- I’m really excited and thrilled to be one of the festival profiles this year. It meant a lot to be the young artist of the year back in 2011, and it gave me a boost just when I needed it. The timing to be a festival profile is perfect now. I welcome the challenge and this opportunity to develop my artistic career and expression, says Silje Halstensen.