TOR STÅLE MOEN : Wishes & Hopes for 2017


As we near the new year we’ve asked a special guest every day to take a moment to reflect on 2016 and to tell us about one photograph that best captures the year for him or her. It’s an assortment of treats for you to enjoy and contemplate as we all reflect on the year that has passed and conjure our hopes and wishes for the new year to come. It’s our way of sharing the sweetness of the season and of saying ‘Thank You’ for inspiring us throughout the year.

Tor Ståle Moen is a Norwegian executive turned passionately engaged Street Art fan and photographer whom we first met in Stavanger during the Nuart Festival a few years ago. Donating his vacation time to volunteer with the artists at Nuart, the atmosphere is charged with Tor’s enthusiasm and knowledge about Street Art, artists, and the history of the people and Norway. Today Mr. Moen shares with us one of his photos from this year of art on a very quiet Norwegian island.

Artists: Ella & Pitr from Saint Etienne, France
Location: Utsira Island on the west coast of Norway
Date: August 27, 2016.
Photograph by Tor Ståle Moen

The beautiful island Utsira was the first public financed port in Norway. Since it was finished in 1870, it has provided safe shelter for lobstermen and merchant ships in the harshest part of the North Sea.

Today there are only 200 residents left on the tiny island – a vibrant mix of people of all ages and different corners of the world who share the love of nature and the windy life on an island far at sea.

Even though the community is tiny and isolated, their living tradition of welcoming strangers in distress sets an example to us all. In a time when world leaders calls for protective walls against foreign trade, religion and people escaping war and poverty – the people of Utsira reflects the opposite. They are known for their philanthropic engagement and heartfelt empathy.

Also when it comes to art, they have open-mindedly welcomed a number of street artists to work on their tiny island. The inhabitants are very proud of the art and memories the artists have left behind. The artists visiting have been struck for life by the beauty of the place and the warm, safe and welcoming atmosphere they experienced here.

This person, painted by the french artists Ella & Pitr on a roof top on Utsira, has obviously found his own peaceful and safe haven – and together with him I  wish all BSA friends a relaxing festive season and a tolerant and peaceful 2017