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The residency is modelled around conceptualisations of factors related to local society and local community development. These may include considerations of identity and affiliation/belongingness and how history can help enable the shaping of contemporary time and the future. The Hadsel residency is intended to help promote interpersonal relationships across borders and cultures, age groups, gender, education and profession.

DEADLINE: You are past the deadline




Residency: 10 days x 2

First stay: Sept 2022

Second stay: Sept 2023 (during Elvelangs)

  • Fee: 7,000 NOK each stay, for you to have

  • 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.


Elvelangs 2016


Elvelangs 2017


Hadsel’s citizens are experts at collective voluntary efforts, a characteristic they have shown over many years and in many different types of activity, whether it be to create and run festivals, maintain active associations and clubs, create urban renewal or citizen-initiated campaigns to conserve old buildings etc. Hadsel’s inhabitants are, not least, good at taking care of one another as well. Interpersonal dialogue and cooperation are the core keywords for the residency in Hadsel municipality.


Hadsel municipality is located in the very centre of the beautiful Lofoten and Vesterålen archipelago. With its 8,000 citizens, the municipality stretches across all of Hadseløya, parts of Langøya, Hinnøya and Austvågøya. Nature, from time immemorial, has been important to Hadsel’s inhabitants. Fishing and harvesting the sea have always been, and are, important sources of income; there are large fishing companies in both Stokmarknes and Melbu. There are also rich agricultural areas that are operated by skilled farmers.


Creativity and the ability to grasp opportunities have always been important for Hadsel entrepreneurs, who have many good examples to emulate among the founding fathers, from the era of Christian Fredriksen and the industrialisation of Melbu, Richard With and the establishment of the coastal steamer, and enterprising innovators of today.  Our history is also imparted through Museum Nord, the Norwegian Fishing Industry Museum and Vesterålen Museum at Melbu, in addition to the new Norwegian Coastal Express Museum in Stokmarknes.


Several talented artists have settled in the municipality, and their art can be seen in decorations of both Melbu School and Stokmarknes School. The regional hospital for Vesterålen is located in Stokmarknes. It is easy to access the municipality, and Stokmarknes Airport Skagen is a popular option for many incoming travellers. There is always something to do in Hadsel. We have active clubs and associations, a house of culture, a swimming pool, cinema, several sports facilities and good ski trails and hiking trails. There are always mountains to be climbed, providing a panoramic view and a soul-soothing experience.


Our guests will live in Melbu during the residency – an interesting place that will serve as home base. It was Christian Fredriksen from Melbu who began, as a 17-year-old, what we can call an industrial revolution in mini-format. In the course of a 30-year period, at the turn of the 20th century, Melbu was transformed from a large rural estate into the largest industrial centre in the entire region. The population grew from 77 inhabitants in 1891 to 1,000 in 1920. Christian Fredriksen’s philosophy was to exploit local raw materials and treat and develop them locally. Fredriksen’s heritage is still alive and well in many ways.


The area around Melbo Manor is being considered as the main area for project dissemination during the second stay of the residency, through preparing for and carrying out the Elvelangs event – which is a festival of light on a chosen autumn evening after the light summer nights are over.  Many different cultural spots are featured along a nature-and-culture trail; the entire community participates. The historic garden surrounding Melbo Manor is part of the Elvelang course. It was designed in English landscape style in 1890; today it is home to assorted old garden perennials collected from far and wide in Lofoten and Vesterålen. The pathways meander from the garden into the idyllic park shaded by old trees, and across small bridges. This is a truly atypical and exotic type of garden to be found so far north in Norway.


Closeness to history, community, the sea and nature shapes the guests’ stay with us, where cooperation and participation open for wonderment and exploration. Community workshops are a natural part of the residency. Melbu hosts the oldest immigration asylum in the country, and this adds to the rainbow society that promotes cross-cultural dialogue, a key aspect during the residency here.

WORKPLACE: Melbu, Hadsel municipality

RESIDENCE: Melbu, Hadsel municipality

Application closed

One of our current artist in residence in Hadsel: Andrea Greenwood

Photos by: Hadsel kommune, Kultursamarbeidet i Vesterålen

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