To start the summer, in july 2012, I had the chance to travel to Vardo, an island at the extreme north of Norway, where daylight never fade. Since it s above the polar circle, the night nevers comes in summer, the sun always enlighten the land, even through the cloud.


HELLIGE HEKS FORTUNA. Holy Witch Fortuna. 7m x 25m. Vardo. NORWAY. 2012

Pobel, a norwegian artist, invite me among other friends from all around the world in order to bring some Life and Creation to a little town from which people were tending to emigrate since the industry of fishing went down.

I truely think we were all happy to bring our piece of Hope to its people. To share something real with authentic human-beings able to survive the absence of light and enhance its perenity. A ying-yang lived to the edge. MY LOVE TO VARDO !

VARDO wooden houses. NORWAY

Vardo port. 1am. Norway

VARDO. Extreme north Norway. 12PM.

VARDO. Extreme North Norway. 2012

There, as on most small island, Life depends on the ocean. Vardo is a land of fishermen. While I was sitting on a found chair, drawing on a piece of shit, in front of the wall, in one of the only sunny afternoon we had, I met one of Vardo’s (unofficial) Ambassador, named Aksel. He, his father and grand father, were all fishermen. So he knows about the local stories. I’m really interested in legends and myths, in beliefs. And I asked him to ell me about one he knew and feel.

Aksel, my friend the Fisherman

AKSEL, my friend the fisherman. Vardo. Norway. 2012

He choosed to tell me the story of his grandfather’s boat. Its name was Fortuna, as a tribute to the universal Goddess of Sea travelers. The one that help find the way, or loose it. Aksel told me that once, his relative got stuck in the middle of the ocean, his boat frozen by the ice. Hopefully, after surviving three weeks lost in the coldness of the North, Fortuna brought them back to their land.


Sketching FORTUNA.

SKETCHING. Picture by Ian COX. Vardo. Extreme North Norway. Summer 2012

The wooden building I was painting one was already wearing a beautiful texture, given by years exposed to  erosion by wind, sunlight, ice and water. i didn’t felt like painting a colorful visual, since the contrast would have been to strong. I didn’t want my goddess to contrast with its home, but more to fuse in it, to be part of it, to Be it.

Sketch on wall.


HELLIGE HEKS FORTUNA. Holly witch Fortuna. 7x25m. Vardo. NORWAY

Thats why I chosen a palette of cold colors, only nuances of blue, from the darkest to the lightest. I knew that would also integrate the painting with the right part of the wall, thanks to its blue windows and doors, and by the rimes with the sky and sea, Fortuna could be fully integrate to its environment.



HELLIGE HEKS FORTUNA. Holly witch Fortuna. 7x25m. Vardo. NORWAY

Her legs are made of a mermaid tail and a high healed leg. Her heart is cold but peaceful, Lightfull  and deep (blue on the right, white on the left, dark blue on its bottom).  Her head is connected to the sun, depending on the moon. Her arms hold an ancient symbol, a endless lace made of four loop.



HELLIGE HEKS FORTUNA. Holly witch Fortuna. 7x25m. Vardo. NORWAY

I was proud to offer the sketch to my friend, knowing this part of Fortuna will go to where she belong. Vardo.

If I tryed to respect a fluid harmony between the visual and the landscape, I couldn’t help playing with high contrast in its title. It took me 3 meetings to find the right association of words, each of the 3 persons I met brought me one word. That’s why I put the words «Holly» and «Witch» beside the one to the other. And then wrote «Fortuna», that means Luck. I think any Universal Force is Sacred and Pagan, goddess are half saints and hows. That’s why they are so real. Not in a bad way. Just because it seems to be the law of the Universe. Creation and destruction from begining to end. Faith and doubt. Reality and illusion. White Magic couldn’t exist without black magic. Still, I believe the main rule is the Movement. Which some how is really great to know. If witches back in the days were consider bitches, I imagine it is just because people couldn’t accept/understand their understanding of Life, their connexion with the higher.

Louise Bourgeois. Tribute to Vardo's witches.

I further on, had the surprise to discover an amazing piece of Art, made by Louise Bourgeois, as a tribute to the 91 lifes on 300 that have been taken by inquisition in the 17th century. She made a chair, from which a fire burn, with big mirors disposed in circle around it. The great detail is that those mirors are not flat but distorted. Reminding us that the point of view of those who judged and then killed those people was altered.

I wish to all Minds to be open wider tomorrow. Accepting duality of Life.


Meanwhile we were painting, Pobel managed to give the opportunity to the locals not only to be spectators, but actor of this creative initiative. He offered a wall, a few brushes and  a bucket of white acrylic. And everyday, there was one to ten people climbing laders to write their words up on the wall. The result is absolutely amazing. Here is a kid standing in front of it, holding his fresh brush.

OPEN WALL. for Vardo's people expression will.

IT’s ALWAYS DARKEST BEFORE THE DAWN. Free expression wall. VARDO. Norway. 2012

In order to celebrate the end of this adventure, Pobel organized a party in one of the 3 pubs of the island, and their we had the chance to listen to a local band of heavy metal, followed by a indigene chant… and as I love to share sounds and vibe, my friend, the singer and drummer of the metal band, offered me to make a reggae feat with him while he was making a beatbox. The moment, such as the whole experience, was pretty Magic. I think all those who were here will remember it as Life & Light full days.



I’m sending much Love to all Vardo’s people, and artists who were there or who have or will pass through that so particular land.

You can enjoy more pictures of the work by other friends overthere including, Roa, Espo, Connor Harrington, Vhils, Husk Mit Navn, Horfe, Koni, Kegr, and many more there.


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