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Lina Valland Lyngset (1977)


Artist statement

People are like flowers

hurry to enjoy their beauty

before they wither


I wrote this simple, naive poem when I was 16. In many ways this verse still sums up my artistic project. The awareness that life is temporary, constantly changing and has different phases, is probably my deepest motivation to paint. Through my works I seek to make both myself and my viewers aware of the temporal character of life, and urge us to embrace and find meaning in every phase. We don’t have to understand everything, but we need to accept; this is how I am right now, and it’s going to change. Whether I paint flowers, people, houses, landscapes or completely abstract motives, I seek to get conscious about this: Where am I now? What is happening in me and around me?


Life itself really manifests its patterns, phases and cycles through flowers and plants in nature. The parallels to human life are endless. Nature itself does something to us that words can’t explain. Is it the colours, the patterns or something else that makes being in nature a relief for modern humans?


COLOURS have a major impact on me and are a driving force in my work. Most of my paintings start off as play with colours I feel appealing. I follow my intuition, the pull in my stomach towards certain colours, lines and motifs. I explore emotions and experiences that are not available to me through words, and I find that more random techniques, such as letting paint drain, assist me in this exploration. Later in the process, figurative forms might appear. Most of the paintings are made up of several layers of paint, and have different structural surfaces. I let the paintings mature a lot during the process, and work on many canvases parallelly. Many of my images have taken many months or even years to be completed. The distinctive expression appears after several layers. I give my paintings a lot of time to mature along the way, and it might take up to years from I start a canvas until it’s finished. I always have several canvases in progress. I totally embrace the opportunities computers opens to visual artists, and I often use my mac both before I start a canvas, during the prosess and after, to make digitalt giclee prints. Instead of blending the colours completely, I tend to use many different colours side by side in small areas or strokes. This makes both my paintings and the giclee-prints more like chameleons; the colours changes due to lighting and sorrounding colours, so they tend to blend in, even if they are perceived as colourful.


The connection between painting and title / word is incredibly strong for me. Often, I do not know what I'm painting before the title comes to me, and that can happen both early and late in the process. When I suddenly "receive" words to a picture I'm working on, it's a strange experience. And it's not that I understand everything in my own picture just because that title "belonged to it". Words (title) and image can continue to vibrate together in a more or less enigmatic way year out and year in.


I tend to feature outlines and contours, and I also play with repetitions of these. Simplified shapes and lines feels like a relief for the eye and for the soul. I like the contrast between simple contours and more complex and messy areas. The contours clear up. In the same way scientific simplifications brings clarification and possibilities to make theories and explanations that help us understand the world. Outlines and simplifications highlight diversity if we also let the complex intricacies show. The same applies to reflections and repetitions; they also bring a sense of relief. When we see the landscape mirrored in the water, we perceive it as beautiful. Traditional crafts have through ages involved repeating patterns. The embroidery tradition around the national costumes here in my home area, Hardanger, is a living example of this. When we take in the beauty of these traditional works of repetition, I think they awaken a recognition of life itself and the circles of life.


I have a long academic education with major subjects in pedagogics. In recent years, especially after I got children, painting has taken more and more of my time. In 2011, I had my first exhibition. After several years of part-time work, I went over to become a full-time artist in 2017.

Written about LinaLyng

"LinaLyng’s titles are small narratives that add a poetic dimension, awakening underlying emotions in the observer. In meeting with the pictures, we are taken on an introspective journey in our soul’s hidden chamber. We are touched by the forgotten and the hidden, picking up invisible threads and untangling knots which have filtered together. This is how we get closer to our own core, and we question what is most important in our lives. LinaLyng’s pictures remind us that we must have an open heart. We must be careful and dare to feel those things which are difficult in order to connect with ourselves and the divine force. Thus achieve a richer life and become better people."- Trude Krane

 senter for kristen kunst (Center for Christian Art)

Sometimes portraying specific subject-matters and other times, painting more panoramic landscapes, Lyngset opens up a new world to the viewer. Her work reminds us of a ‘paradise lost’ in the modern cityscape while her style bears strong resemblances to the work of major expressionists e.g Ernst Ludwig Kirchner.

- Vanessa Souli

art curator, Berlin

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