The transfigured fishing village of Nyksund

For the earlier inhabitants of this weatherbeaten, exposed fishing village of Nyksund, life was an eternal struggle for existence. Today, Nyksund is a hub of creativity and recreation in an innovative environment and with its own energy and unique atmosphere. The proximity to nature and the nearness to history are key elements in any guest’s stay here.

DEADLINE: Sometime in 2022

First stay: 2022




Residency: 10 days x 2

First stay: 2022

Second stay: 2022 

  • Fee: 7,000 NOK each stay

  • The project will cover travel and accommodation costs

  • A car can be hired upon request

  • Curatorial support and collaboration with local partners

Any professional artist, regardless of gender, region or religion, are welcome to apply.  We invite established as well as emerging artists, curators and writers. Also practitioners from any art-related discipline, cross-discipline practices are welcome to apply.

Nyksund (Photo by: Holmvik brygge)

Myre (Photo by: Øksnes kommune)


The buildings in Nyksund fishing village are distributed over two islands, Nyksundøya and Ungsmaløya.  Nyksund lies in an open and sunny location, but it also exposed to the harshest of weather. At the start of the 1900s, Nyksund was the second largest fishing village in  Vesterålen. The village’s proximity to the fishing fields on the open ocean made it and ideal location. However, with the advent of new technology – motors and larger vessels – Nyksund’s harbour became too small.  During the 1960s, the remaining dwellers moved out, and by 1970 the village was depopulated. Quays, wharfs and private dwellings were left prey to the winds and storms in one of the most exposed places on the coast. Nyksund was transformed into a ghost town.


A German man on a motorcycle was to be the start of a new era in Nyksund. Completely in love with the place, the man returned to West Berlin. For the next 10-15 years, young people from all over Europe came to Nyksund, to save houses and piers. The International Nyksund Project, led by project manager Burkhard Herrmann and mayor Finn Steen, put Nyksund on the map for real. Gradually the village became a popular destination for artists and tourists who sought inspiration in the historic setting, the magnificent natural surroundings and the ever-changing weather and lighting. In recent years, Nyksund has come to be one of the most frequently visited spots in Vesterålen. It boasts several art galleries, and several artists have settled here and have studios and workshops in the village. Yoga seminars are offered, and each summer there are exhibitions, concerts and festivals. Nyksund is the site of the sculptures “Etterbilder” [After-Images], which are part of the Artscape Nordland project. At Skåltofta, just next to Nyksund, are the remnants of the largest Viking-era longhouses known in Norway. Here on the shores of the Norwegian Sea, we want to welcome artists as guests and encourage them to become inspired by the ancient and modern history of the fishing village, its opportunities and its majestic natural surroundings.


Øksnes municipality is also home to other historic and fascinating fishing villages: Tinden, Skipnes, Stø and Myre.

Tinden, Skipnes and Stø were traditional, old trading centres of commercial importance since the 1600s. They were small communities of fishermen-farmers, and they were heavily visited by fishermen from afar during the winter cod fisheries. The rorbu cabins were filled to capacity, and social life was lively. After a long period of dwindling population and demise, Tinden and Skipnes are now primarily holiday and recreation spots. The rural fishing villages have been resurrected. Tinden is currently a site protected by the Directorate for Cultural Heritage and is the best example in Øksnes of a well-maintained fishing village of the traditional type. Stø is still a working village with active fish-receiving stations, a café and a restaurant. Tourism flourishes in the summer, featuring, among other attractions, whale safaris and seal and bird safaris.

Myre is the prototype of a modern and successful fishing village. The large lorries provide jobs, in addition to the top modern fishing vessels who deliver their catch to stations on shore. By-product production is also important for the municipality, such as live cod-hotels, protein extraction and cod liver oil production. In Myre, you will also find salmon farming and a large salmon feed producer, which also has it's headquarters in Norway here. All types of service functions have developed in the wake of the fishing industry – municipal administration, schools, businesses, hotels, petrol stations etc. In the course of only a few decades, an urban community with a varied commercial profile has been developed. Myre has also functioned as a constraint against depopulation and has ensured that the local citizens share the profits from the wealth that is generated. The overall assets have accrued thanks to the fishing industry.

The fishing sector is still today the primary economic driver in Øksnes, but adventure tourism for well-off Norwegians and foreign visitors has also become important. This is a new commercial venture, with heavy emphasis on local identity and storytelling.




DEADLINE: Sometime in 2022

View from Myre (Photo by: Hanne Fredheim)

Photos by: Øksnes kommune, Harald Sommer, Hanne Fredheim, Anders M.Frantzen