With Jan Groth to Svalbard April 2017

Posted on April 24th, 2017 by

Walking East along Adventsfjord.24 4 17


25 April 2017

Rose-headed mountain. 25 4 17

17th Century Wool from Russian Whalers. Svalbard Museum. 25 4 17

Sea ice, Adventsfjord

Mining claims and dates of stakes. Svalbard Museum

Hard at work at with Jan Groth tapestry 25 4 17


24th April 2017

My eye overwhelmed. Longyearbyen, Svalbard, 24 4 17. Thank goodness that I have Biber, Matteis and Baltazar for solace.24 4 17


A fantastic second day.  This was my first opportunity to work with a Groth ‘Gobelin’ in the flesh. Kunsthallen Svalbard is exhibiting the wonderful 1990 ‘Tegn V’

The Gallery full of children-with Jan Groth Tegn V 24 4 17

Peter Sheppard Skaerved /after Jan Groth ‘Tegn V 1990’ – ‘Stone, paper scissors/cloth, leather, gravestone
(workshop recording-rip from film. Kunsthalle Svalbard 24 4 17)

Sketch for: ‘Stone, paper scissors/cloth, leather, gravestone’ 24 4 17

My host at here in the far north, is Bodil Kjelstrup, of the Nordnorsk Kunstmuseum, of which Svalbard Kunsthalle is a wonderful Arctic outpost.

Anthony Sheppard (my father) with Bodil Kjelstrup 24 4 17

I spent the morning working up close with the Groth tapestry, in the intimacy of this most wonderful gallery. Along with works by Balke, Hockney and more.

Working on the newest Groth miniature. Svalbard 25 4 17


23rd  April 2017

After an overnight flight from New York City to London, I had a couple of hours to recover, have tea, and then turn round, back to the airport, and catch the plane (with my father) to Oslo and then Longyearbyen-the main city on the West of Svalbard.

Ice on my beach 23 4 17

We left Oslo at 930pm in the dusk, and, as we flew north, the dusk hovered, lightened, and then turned into slow dawn, and we arrived at the airport here in a spectacular midnight sun. I am definitely an anomaly in the new arrivals on the island. There were researchers, scientists, some tourist, a lot of very serious skiers, and us.

Looking across Isfjorden to Nansenbreen 23 4 17

We are staying in a cabin overlooking Adventfijord, with the beach beneath my work desk covered with spectacular ice formations, and, in the morning, Eider duck.

First night of practice, Longyearbyen, 78/15 degrees.

It seems to me, as I started work over night, that this is a place ideally suited to the elemental nature of Jan Groth’s art. I have brought one of his crayons with me, and will make notes every day using it. Hubris, I know, but it, and he, are teaching me a lot.

with his crayon. Hjorthfjellet from my desk and violin 23 14

Night one, I sat with the violin and the caprices which I have written for this incredible place, playing and refining them. Perhaps most beautiful, is the sound of the water under our window.

Ice formations under my desk, tide on the Ebb. Adventfjorden 23 4 17

In the distance, three glaciers are visible on Oscar II Land,  feeding into Nordfjorden.

Svalbard/Groth Triptych 3 ‘and the bleak winds shall whistle round our heads’ 23 4 17