jan_gunnar_webOnce a thriving fishing village on the White Sea seashore in the Nenets okrug, Shoyna is now being buried by the sand. Due to extensive fishing by the fishing trawlers in the 1930-50s, the bottom of the sea with its entire flora was ruined. This caused the sea sand to go wild, burying parts of the village. From the 1960s the winds started sculpturing huge sand dunes around the village and taking over the houses. Many old buildings have completely disappeared under the sand. Some half-buriedhouses are still homes for families, though their condition is outrageous.
During his residency Jan Gunnar Skjeldsøy measured and drew fragments of the most affected streets of Shoyna. These large-scale drawings with sections of Shoyna will be part of the festival exhibition at Barents Spektakel 2013.

Jan Gunnar Skjeldsøy is developing a model for a house that is able to tackle the sand, and more importantly, learn from the qualities of sand. Traditionally the sand is regarded as an obstacle one should overcome. However: Could the sand be regarded as a resource for development – as new possibilities instead?

Pikene på broen looks forward to the project “Shoyna Dissected” by Jan Gunnar Skjeldsøy with drawings and model, which will be both a visualization of the alarming feedback from nature and a research into possibilities for residential architecture in the demanding Arctic conditions.

Our sincere gratitude to the hospitable inhabitants and the mayor of Shoyna, the local dogs that followed us around, the Nenets Okrug administration and the Nenets office of the Barents Secretariat – we will be back!

See more pictures from the Shoyna expedition here.