Saari Residence


The TESTING GROUNDS podcast series showcases NAARCA’s member residencies

NAARCA’s TESTING GROUNDS is a podcast series consisting of eight episodes, bringing together artists, researchers and activists from across the Nordic countries and Scotland to reflect on the question how artist residencies can serve as testing grounds for new – and better – ways of living and working, as the climate crisis accelerates further. Each episode of the podcast series looks at the crisis from the perspective of a different artist residence.

Episode 3: Skaftfell Art Center – The Tensions of Environmental and Cultural Sustainability for Artists and Institutions

How can arts institutions and artists be more sustainable – in terms of their impact not only on the environment, but also on local communities?

Skaftfell Art Center is NAARCA’s Icelandic partner. It’s based in Seyðisfjörður, a small but vibrant town in Eastern Iceland, surrounded by mountains and sea. Seyðisfjörður’s unique location and atmosphere has long attracted artists from all over the world. That location also makes it vulnerable to avalanches, mudslides and landslides – and in a changing climate, those threats are increasing.

Julia Martin is an artist living in Seyðisfjörður, and the former Project Manager of the Residency Programme and International Projects at Skaftfell. She introduces us to Seyðisfjörður, and to our two contributors: Pari Stave, Director of Skaftfell, and Jessica Auer, a photographer, filmmaker and educator living in Seyðisfjörður. Pari and Jessica explore some of the ways arts institutions and artists can be more mindful of the environment, and of local landscapes and communities.

Find out more:

Skaftfell Art Center:

Ströndin Studio:

Jan Krtička (artist who provided field recordings from in and around Seyðisfjörður):


Julia Martin, artist and landscape architect / former Project Manager, Residency

Programme and International Projects, Skaftfell Art Center (

Pari Stave, art historian and curator / Director, Skaftfell Art Center (

Jessica Auer, photographer, filmmaker and educator (