Aino Grib

Something about my work and why I am here

To draw and paint has always been an important part of my life. I learned ceramics at the Copenhagen School of Arts and Craft Between 1968-72, thereby I also got the possibility to work 3-dimensionally. Between 1972-86, I mainly did stoneware and glass in my workshop in Birkerød, Denmark. From 1986, I started to paint full time. I took part in group exhibitions, held a separate exhibition in the Gammelstrand Gallery and in a number of art associations and had a permanent exhibition in Rørholmsgade, an Copenhagen arts and craft street.

In 1991, I went to Vesterålen in Northern Norway in to have an exhibition, I came back several times before I moved permanently in 2000. This time to teach art and craft at the secondary school in Melbu. After four years, I began to long for going further north. This time the goal was Spitsbergen where I came for the first time in 2003 for a six weeks painting trip. Again it led to more short visits until I moved permanently to Longyearbyen in the summer of 2004.

In Longyearbyen I have my workshop and gallery in the town centre, the workshop is open to the public which gives me regular contact with both local residents and visitors from the big world outside. I came up here to experience the arctic light, snow, ice and the indefinite landscape, I found all of this and more. The arctic year with one 4 month long day and one 3 months long night is fascinating and so is the animals, not just the polar bears but also the birds in the mountains, the seals on the ice and the reindeer, which grace outside my windows.
Since I came to Longyearbyen I have mainly been painting but I have also made posters and done some teaching, my stay here has also resulted in a number of exhibitions. When I came to Spitsbergen my plan was to stay for one year, but there is still lots of inspiration from this fantastic landscape, so I will stay a little longer and enjoy my unique and fantastic work environment.