Skip to content


Helsinglight AAiR - Tankar och reflektioner från  Calle Elf och Ivonne ”Ivoncita” Arosenius

Helsinglight AAiR - Thoughts and reflections by Calle Elf and Ivonne ”Ivoncita” Arosenius


Thoughts and reflections by Calle Elf and Ivonne ”Ivoncita” Arosenius.

During the month of July in the summer of 2019 we left our routines, habits and distractions in Stockholm and spent three weeks at the ”Alternative Artist in Residence" at Helsinglight. We got the opportunity to reflect and experiment with our respective expressions and styles. Calle - a photographer and Ivoncita - an artist and performer.

These are our thoughts.

When it was decided that we were going to Helsinglight AAiR we got really excited - all this time to work on one or many of our projects that we sometimes struggle to find the time to finish. So, we started to pack our gear and stuff we already were working on but leading up to our departure we realized we had no idea what to expect from the experience itself. We didn’t know the environment nor the people we were about to meet so after some discussion we ended up filling our entire car with supplies. Instead of going with the mindset of finishing already started projects, we wanted to keep our minds open for whatever would come out of this.

After about four hours of driving (including coffee break and lunch) from Stockholm we arrived to Helsinglight, a big house in Vattlång that used to be a school, that Fredrik Fernlund and Petra Shara Stoor are revamping into a creative haven in the heart of Hälsingland. An impressive two-story house built with locally made bricks in 1920.

We had imagined Helsinglight as a house in the middle of nowhere with bears lurking in the woods and that we would spend three weeks by ourselves, creating. But as soon as we met Petra and Fredrik they greeted us with a warm welcome and were eager to get to know us and show us all the beauty of this area and the people and possibilities there.

The first couple of days we sort of let it all sink in and just acclimatized. Got to know our new surroundings and met the locals. When you arrive in a new place like this you bring your ideas and expectations of what you will be creating, longing to be inspired and focused on your work. What you can’t know beforehand is if and how you actually will feel inspired and this was of course a small fear we had.

The first week we had a strong feeling of being guests in this big building with many rooms but not necessarily the guests of Fredrik and Petra as much as the guests of the actual house and the history and many memories it contains. It really didn’t feel like this was the place to work on and finish the projects we had brought with us. This place would come to inspire us in it’s own way and make us create new material which were discovered and produced from the impressions of the environment, the expectations we had to revalue and the conversations we had around it.

We always thought that staying at a residency would make you more focused and inspired but we were amazed by how present it made you feel. You notice so many things around you that you otherwise would pass by without noticing.

One of the great reasons for going to a residency is, according to us, the possibility to experiment with your ideas. When you’re there you don’t have a client or a budget or something else that limit you. It’s a time for play and development and to let new energy refill your passion. It allows you to leave your own expectations aside. We all have an idea of what is right/wrong or even good/bad. At a residency you have the possibility and time to forget about those do’s and don’ts and just try new things because you are there to go outside your own box, that you’re already great at.

Fredrik and Petra have done a great job at making the residency luxurious, beautiful and cozy. They had also created a real exhibition hall and two workshops. The rest of the house was still under construction. You could see different layers of wallpaper peeking through the walls, witnessing about what and who had been there before Helsinglight was born. These secrets that we felt were hidden in the walls made us wonder a lot about how it must have been to be a student between the 1920s-1960s and who Gunnar Greiber was, the painter that had the entire house to himself, living in a world of color, after the school was shut down.

Learning about the history of the house also made us think about the people living nearby and what the people that had been in this house was surrounded by. Hälsingland is very beautiful and we were really lucky to have three weeks of sunny days which made it easy to enjoy days and nights in nature hiking in the mountains, horseback riding, go for a swim in the many lakes and so on. The tranquility of these surroundings were very present and gave us a lot of energy that we could put into our ideas and projects.

The first day at Helsinglight Petra and Fredrik revealed the possibility to organize an event at the end of our stay, during which we could exhibit whatever we would come to create during the three weeks at the residency. We are both used to present our work and also produce events so that actually sounded like a great idea. Although, when you create something in a limited time you can never be sure of the “quality” and relevance of it in context to what you usually consider to be a finished creation. So the first week was filled with mixed emotions, on the one hand it would be great to exhibit our work, display the possibilities of the residency and work towards a deadline. On the other hand, an event should be promoted with some foresight and how could we promote something that doesn’t yet exist, that we don’t even know the result of? While writing this we have some perspective on it all and can definitely say that that small pressure of achievement lit a fire that made us be quite productive during our stay.

The idea of having an event was left to the side until our last week, that’s when we felt that we had actually created, been inspired and found a continuing element through our work. We decided to call it “Dimman”. It was what we had been experiencing in our conversations and in our search for inspiration. A fog of memories, feelings and expectations of life and relations. You could say that the history of the house, the meeting with Hälsinglands nature and looking for answers about our ancestors made us find the fog. A place of unknown, unanswered truths. A place, even a state of mind, where you’re looking for something but you don’t know what you’re looking for. It actually became very personal for the both of us and even if we thought we wouldn’t work on projects already started it did take us through ideas and feelings we had been carrying around for a while and landed in some kind of insight.

Fredrik and Petra amazingly succeeded to make a whole bunch of people come to the exhibition and performance just with three days notice. Here is what we wrote about it and a selection of what we created during our stay:

(ENG) The fog.

We’ve all met it in some shape or form. The fog can be internal or external. Like a coat over grief, truth, happiness or life in general. It can be forced upon you or summoned within. It can be not knowing what will come, fading memories or a strive for self- realization. Whatever it means right now will likely change many times throughout life. This is some of our studies on this theme that showed up during our stay here at Helsinglight in Vattlång during these summer weeks.


*Kulturbryggan (Kulturbryggan is an alternative financier which, by allocating grants to projects, will promote renewal and development in the cultural area throughout the country)

Previous article Helsinglight AAiR - Thoughts and Reflections by Myrkky Photography

Leave a comment

Comments must be approved before appearing

* Required fields

Latest from the blog

  • NärCon närmar sig - köp dina cosplay-linser från Helsinglight!
    July 7, 2023 Petra Shara Stoor

    Get your cosplay lenses from Helsinglight!

    Transform your look with colored effect lenses! Create an awesome look with our wide range of colored lenses, crazy lenses, and scleral lenses. Find the perfect pair for your cosplay. Explore our selection of red, black, white, cat eye, bloodshot devil eye, scleral, crazy, and UV lenses. Effortlessly change your appearance and radiate a different vibe every day. Don't forget lens care with solution. Discover your perfect effect and cosplay lenses today!
    Read now