with Henrik Uldalen

Contrary to the general belief, hope equals resignation. And to live is not to resign oneself

Albert Camus

What’s your thought about that?

If I understand the quote correctly, Camus believes that you have to reject hopes to be able to live the real life, right now. I believe that you can and should have hope in your life, hopes for the future, hopes for yourself, hopes to better yourself. I also believe that the action of hoping doesn’t necessarily means resigning and giving up on living. You can search while you live. I don’t think anyone passively sits and hopes for life and epiphanies to fall into their laps. And I don’t believe that living means that you cannot have hopes.

Is it easier to abandon oneself to an existence completely devoid of emotion, or to a sensuality prone to suicide?

I can’t choose my state of being, unfortunately. I feel like I’m already in the void, with high emotions cut out from my life. It makes the life easier when hard times occurs, but makes the daily life unliveable for me in the long run. I can’t go on like this forever, if it’s no ups and downs you’re flat lining, a living dead.


Your bodies often seem suspended between dream and death, what is their story?

It’s for me a representation of the thoughts, feelings and fears in my own life. About myself being in a similar state, a state of not living not grounded in the present or not in touch with society. Death and time take up a big part of my life, and I need to talk about it in my art.

The aim of an artist is only to improve himself and being always relevant?

I can’t speak for all artists. Art has different applications, and artists have different goals. Some work for themselves and self-improvement/self-expression, some to change others and impact the society. For me art will always be about self-expression. If someone finds anything in it, then that’s a bonus. I make art to improve myself, and have no goal in staying relevant. But I think everything made in the now, will always stay relevant for someone out there. Not for all, but someone. I’m lucky to be able to touch people with my art, which means I can live off painting. If this wouldn’t be so, I would still do it. It just makes it a bit easier.


A few words about your technique:

I paint with a technique called “Alla Prima”, which means I paint everything at once, not in layers. So when I start a painting, I begin in one area and finalize the piece as I go along. No colour or value corrections along the way, and I never paint on top of dry paint. It’s partly because I am an inpatient being, and need fast results, as well as being lazy. If I need to express something real, I prefer it being done fast. Not having an initial idea for one week, and then just finalizing it the next two weeks without feeling it.

Do you have any shelters where you can find yourself in the most complicated moments of your life?

I don’t really have complicated times in the sense I think you mean. My life is very steady, with slow waves of lows and highs, nothing extreme in my opinion. I am traveling a lot, which is a short and efficient escape from myself, but my thoughts always catches up with me in the end. The dark dog as Churchill described it, a faithful constant that always finds back to its home. In later years I’ve found that indulging myself in the darkness for long periods a day, keeps me afloat easier. I would get so fed up with it that I can’t be sad even if I wanted to. I just feel like going out, being a social and functioning human.

Suspended 2

Do you think inspiration has something to do with madness?

I think it might have something to do with it. The word madness suggests a state of chaos, which for many people can jolt a train of thoughts or feelings. Being conform and controlled doesn’t seem like the best conditions for new thoughts and ideas. When that’s said, I do believe you can train yourself into creative thinking and finding control creative processes. It’s easier living in control than with chaos.

Your biggest fears:

To never feel strongly about anything again. To never fall head over heels in love or feel that my world is crashing when someone I love dies. That, and time frightens me a lot. About wasting time, about not having enough time, about being a human trapped in a millisecond, without chance of finding answers of life and cosmos in time. If I could know everything in the universe for one day and die, I would choose that rather than live for 1000 years, unknowing.

The most recurring memory of your childhood:

I actually remember most things vividly. It depends on how far you want me to go back. From the age of five I remember almost everything, even how I felt in most situations. But to say something, it’s probably my summers at my grandparents cabin along the west coast of Norway, with warm days, swimming, eating and fishing. I won’t deceive myself and think that it was simpler times, because it was not. I was still filled with worries, just in a smaller scale. I haven’t changed much, sadly. I’m still cynical, self centred and filled with discourage most of times. But I’m still a man of pleasure, trying to make myself feel good with all means at all times. I indulge in the wealth of the world, as I did back then.



Henrik Uldalen – Portrait painting

1 Commento su Suspended

  1. Yes! Finally someone writes about self development.

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