Artist Spotlight: Thorfinn Hamre

Photo from Thorfinn Hamre

When you are looking at the series of art that Hamre has produced, it is really hard to miss any details. Every speckle and strokes are so distinct in their purpose on the canvas, leaving a texture to wonder and an imprint to feel. Often the composition is striking, making it difficult to look away from the perfect balance of calm in the chaos he has created. It allows the viewers to feel the complexity of living. To Hamre, “art has been an alternate way to communicate something that I cannot always put into words.” 

Having grown up believing how things should be a certain way, Hamre experienced a shift of perspective and departure from what he once knew. He revealed that leaving the status quo had allowed his “eyes to open” and changed the way he saw the world. Now he believes that things do not have to be a certain way to work and he brings about his vision in his art and lifestyle. “I get freedom from being able to communicate/express myself through the canvas,” he said. His abstract motifs are the artist’s interpretation of the choices we make in life. 

In terms of influences, the silhouette of marine life is ever-present in the paintings. It seems only natural for Hamre to bring his formative years near the ocean on the Norwegian coast onto the canvas as a signature stamp of his heritage. There is also an experimental series cast on driftwood that strikes a certain rusticness in contrast with the elegance of his artistic imprints. Creating art with heart, Hamre injected a compassionate optimism in bright blue on the rustic medium to keep morale afloat during the difficult times of the pandemic in 2020. 

Art is an emotion to Hamre, and it also seems human. In the process of making his work, Hamre “collects emotions about specific events and the result is a creation of my interpretation around it.” 

It becomes even more apparent that his practice is wrapped with sensitivity when we asked about a time if he ever faced the challenge of self-doubting his career. Hamre unabashedly shared with us his own experience. “Sometimes I find myself in situations, where it’s dark, the confidence is gone and the belief of success is gone,” he recalls. “In these situations, I have learned that I need to take a step back, see my artwork through other eyes and feel the emotion I had when creating the artwork. This always gives me my belief back. Maybe not immediately, but it will come…” He hopes that sharing his experience, would help the artists who are going through the same thing and young artists who are following in his footsteps. 

In the digital era, the world is in right now, only bringing the distance between worlds closer and social media became a key tool for artists to connect with others. When the past year spent indoors did not allow the artist to showcase his work at exhibitions, Hamre found more purpose in sharing his art and visual diary on the popular platforms. He uses social media as “an opportunity to give people insight to the messages and feelings behind the scenes.” This way, his visual language extends beyond the physical state to resonate with people outside of the usual circle. 

From palm-sized canvases on easels to rustic driftwoods to large frames on walls, the artist continues to paint his brilliance with gusto. Hamre hopes that his artistic style continues to evolve to have a “clearer message” and he boldly strives to “dare to show everything” with “more daring art”. When asked which artwork would he like to be remembered for, he shared that he does not have a specific one, but rather hopes “to be recognised by the audience when they see it.” We can only expect great things from Hamre from here.

With the Artist Spotlight, NCC hopes to cross borders and give a platform to bridge up-and-coming and well-known Norwegian and Singaporean artists to a wider arts and culture community. Our first feature is bubbling with potentiality and we are excited to go on to grow this initiative through fostering cultural enrichment. 

If you’re interested in being featured, DM us or you may also e-mail us your portfolio: marketing@norwegianculturalcenter.sg