LAND 21 – Lundestenen to Vasagård, 26.05.23

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LAND 21 The day began cold and rather breezy. I watched the sun rise behind the trees – a luminous crimson disc, slowly turning orange and then yellow as it began its ascent into the clear blue sky.

Sunrise from Hovedgårdsvejen

I headed north on familiar roads.

Nylars Church from Hovedgaardsvejen

Soon I found myself walking along the bike path towards Lobbæk village. The path was built on the old railway track that connected Rønne with Aakirkeby. Lobbæk was built around a railway station in the early 20th century – at one point boasting several shops, a baker, a dairy and so on – and is still home to several hundred people. I stopped for breakfast by the old station and enjoyed the cacophony of birdsong. A red-backed shrike was an unexpected visitor. Swifts, my first of the year, screamed overhead.

I continued along the bike path for a while, and then headed north into the intensively cultivated fieldscape between Nylars and Vestermarie. The area had once been a mixture of pasture, marsh and heath, and had slowly been drained and cultivated over the centuries. Large dairy and pig farms were strung along the landscape.

Udsigt fra Smørenegevejen

My route took me south again, across the main road and into an area with smaller farms and homesteads, poorer soils, and more variety of vegetation. I headed east until I crossed Læse å, a small stream (though Bornholm’s second biggest) that on account of its unique geology and nature, is protected by law. For several kilometers a public path follows the stream along its heavily wooded valley, with fantastic information panels describing the succession of geological strata the stream flows over.

Huge windmills and a giant solar cell park welcomed visitors to the beginning of the path. I watched through my binoculars as a marsh harrier flew close to the huge rotating arms of the windmill.

Marsh harrier and windmill

Down by the stream I was sheltered from the breeze, but easy prey for mosquitos. I was entranced by my eye’s ability to see reflections on the surface and stones on the stream bed, but not both simultaneously.

Reflections, Læseå

I took a break by the side of an oilseed rape field, now fading a little. A low-flying marsh harrier was lit yellow by reflected light from the flowers.

Down in the wooded valley again, I felt overwhelmed by the insane visual complexity of the vegetation and water, by the myriad patches of sunlight and shadow, the colours, patterns, and shapes – all flickering with the wind. I tried desperately to simplify what I saw but to no avail.

Where the stream bends and meanders through a flower-rich meadow heavy with the scent of wild garlic, I spent a while trying to capture the layers of shale. Curious horses watched my every move. As evening fell, they became skittish and galloped about.

Graptolite shale, with layer of bentonite (volcanic ash)

I followed the path out of the valley into the open fields of Vasagård – one of Bornholm’s, and indeed Denmark’s, most important archaeological sites. A cromlech was built in the early Neolithic period over 5,500 years ago, then a passage grave, and then both were combined into one barrow. Here funerals and other ritual activities have taken place over thousands of years. I crawled inside and along the passage into the pitch-black inner chamber and tried to imagine all that history. Outside again, the sun set behind the mound, with the entrance looking like an eye into another universe.

Langehøj ved Vasagård


WEATHER REPORT – Sunny most of the day. Temperature 10 – 15 degrees. Wind 6 m/s from the northwest. Hours of precipitation: 0 hours. Hours of sunshine: 12 hours.

STOPS with the BIVVY – 0


DAY LASTED – 16h and 42 m


BIRDS SEEN and HEARD – 50 species: 5 new (icterine warbler, red-backed shrike, house martin, swift, cuckoo) running total = 111 species

LESSONS LEARNED – more water needed – I ended up boiling water from the stream.

IN MY HEAD – so much. I knew the area well, so I thought often of previous trips and encounters, my kids and so on. I thought a lot about time and impermanence, how things come and go (paths, ponds, railways, fields, barrow graves…)

LAND 18 – Kastelsbakke to Grødby, 05.05.23

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LAND 18 Kastelsbakke – ten past five in the morning. I hunkered down in the shelter of some trees and got to work, swaddled in layers and layers of thick clothing to protect me from the bitterly cold east wind.

The view from Siegårdsvejen

I headed back up into the forest, partly to find shelter, but also because my planned route in Raghammer had been postponed due to military exercises. Some of the younger beech trees were already in leaf with wild cherry and plum trees in blossom, but it was difficult to stop and paint because of the gusting wind. A striking male pied flycatcher brightened my mood somewhat.

View from Højlyngsvejen

Despite the sun, my mood was soon darkened again by the constantly gusting wind. The painting board strapped to my rucksack caught the wind like a sail and I tacked and stumbled along the exposed country roads, heading south again towards the southern flatlands.

Looking south from Lille Myregårdsvejen

I passed quickly through the bungalows and well-kept gardens of Aakirkeby village, feeling like a stranger from another time and space. Back into the fieldscape, the first green shoots were emerging in smart green rows.

A field, Kratgårdsvejen

The wind, if anything, was increasing in severity. I arrived at Jættedal, a passage grave built in the late stone age over five thousand years ago, and first excavated in 1883. On my hands and knees I crawled inside and here in the womb-like inner chamber, I was somewhat protected from the wind.

View from inside Jættedal

Eventually, like a reluctant newborn baby, I crawled back out and faced the wind. Later, I found shelter in a small wood and even managed to catch forty winks, lying on top of an electricity box. The newly restored Saxebro Windmill looked fantastic in the late afternoon light.

Saxebro Windmill

I was flagging but still had many hours to go. After a long search I manged to locate Grødby menhir, hidden close to the banks of Grødby stream in some thorny scrub. According to the faded information panel, the site should have been accessible to the public, but there were no signs or paths, and the panel was almost hidden behind brambles and hawthorn.

Grødby Menhir

To finish off, I sat by the bridge and looked towards the setting sun and the meandering stream – completely windblown and exhausted, but glad to have made it through the day.

Grødby å, from the bridge


WEATHER REPORT – Sunny morning, hazy then cloudy in the afternoon. Temperature 5 – 7 degrees. Wind 10 – 14 m/s from the east. Hours of precipitation: 0 hours. Hours of sunshine: 10 hours.

STOPS with the BIVVY – 0


DAY LASTED – 15h and 29 m


BIRDS SEEN and HEARD – 42 species: 2 new (pied flycatcher, lesser whitethroat, running total = 90 species)

LESSONS LEARNED – I hate wind even more that I hate rain (maybe?).

IN MY HEAD – I had just spent four days with a group of artists, working on September’s Klippekroppe project. Ideas, conversations and images were rattling around in my brain.

LAND 13 – Stenseby to Peders Church, 01.04.23

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LAND 13 Overcast, with a bitterly cold wind. Tired and underslept, and definitely not ‘feeling it’, I trudged off into the Bornholmian landscape.

From Fredenlundsvej, looking East

Just being outside, however, soon worked its magic and my mood lightened. I walked into a small beechwood for a breakfast stop and was cheered by the sight of the small shoots of anemone leaves breaking through the leaf litter.

Anemone shoots

I walked onwards on a narrow winding road through a part of Bornholm I had never visited before. Again, I took shelter in the lee of a wood and again I painted the leaden sky, the heavy soil, the bare trees, the farms and silos.

Nørregaard, seen from Brandskov

I stumbled on, buffeted by the gusting wind on my back, and saw what looked to be a small abandoned farm along an unkempt track. Inside the dilapidated and crumbling farmhouse, a blackbird nest lay on a shelf in the old kitchen. Glad to be out of the wind I set up camp and spent a while trying to capture the rather flamboyant heap of folded wallpaper in the corner of the old living room.

Stuen, Åvang

I continued and passed through the small village of Pedersker, where some of the houses sit quite grandly along the main street. Not so long ago there would have been several local shops, a dairy, train station and a largely self-sufficient rural economy.

Glowing moss from Pedersker Skov

Heading south again I paused by the archaeological site of Stenebjerg, a charmingly unspectacular dolmen dating from over five thousand years ago.


By the mid-afternoon, the sun finally broke through. Sheltered from the wind with the sun on my face I actually felt rather…warm.

Lille Loftsgaard, seen from Østre Sømarksvej

The last leg of the journey took me down closer to the sea again. An area by Strandmarksvejen had been left fallow or rewilded, and it was brimming with wildlife. Cranes fed alongside roe deer and hares, to a chorus of energetic skylark song. My first marsh harrier of the year, recently arrived from warmer climes, flapped overhead.

View east from edge of Baunevej

Eventually I made it to Peders Kirke and another wonderful Bornholmian church, sitting exposed in the flat landscape. Frozen by the frigid wind I struggled to capture the last rays of the setting sun. It had been a good day.

Peders Church, sunset.


WEATHER REPORT – Overcast in the morning, sunny in the afternoon. Windy. Temperature 3 degrees. Wind 10 m/s from the northeast. Hours of precipitation: 0 hours. Hours of sunshine: 3.5 hours.

STOPS with the BIVVY – 1


DAY LASTED – 11h and 50m


BIRDS SEEN and HEARD – 41 species: 2 new (brambling and marsh harrier , running total = 71 species)

LESSONS LEARNED – I found a new way to put up my tarp

IN MY HEAD – thankfully I managed to leave biogas behind and enjoy the day. I looked forward to an evening of wingers with my family.

LAND 09 – Rokkestenen to Bodils Church, 03.03.23

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LAND 09 Windstill and frosty at dawn, the tips of the tallest pine trees burned orange with the rising sun. Marley and I walked from the car park through the forest and up to Rokkesten, the day’s start point – Marley being my dog and enthusiastic fellow traveller for the day.

Rokkesten and Shoemakers Lake

We continued on the rocky and twisting path, down through muddy dells and over granite outcrops worn smooth thousands of years ago by the retreating glaciers. We eventually arrived at a more open area with an expansive view over the southern part of the island, where the blue frost on the grass was burned off by the sun.

View from Skotteklint

Down further still, to Kaasegaard, an attractively undulating landscape kept mostly open by grazing cows, sheep and…alpaca. In the past, ‘Klippeløkke’ such as this – hilly or rocky areas with thin soil used for pasture – were a significant element in Bornholm’s landscape, but very few remain today. Having never been ploughed or fertilised, they support a rich and diverse plant and animal life.

We carried on, past Slingesten and Linkisten and onwards to Gamleborg. Here I sat with a view over the valley and soaked in the warm sun while a pair of buzzards circled lazily overhead. In the far distance, I could hear cranes calling, mingling with the soporific droning of a chainsaw. Closer still, sporadic and hesitant sounds – the mesmeric song of the yellowhammer, drumming of the woodpecker, and bark of the pheasant – confirmed the sense that the forest was cautiously awakening from a deep sleep.

We marched on – past the Altersten and through a huge fir plantation, recently harvested. Heading south again, with the sun long gone and the wind increasing, we took shelter by the side of the Øle Stream.

Øle å

Both rather tired now, we walked up and over ‘Slamrebjerg’, a small hill with fine views over the flat agricultural landscape towards Nexø. Winter had returned, the sunny and warm morning a distant memory. Walking down the hill again, we crossed the invisible ‘Tornquist zone’ that divides the older granite and gneiss of Northern Bornholm, from the much younger sedimentary rocks of the south – a significant boundary.

View east to Nexø

We arrived cold, windswept and exhausted at Bodils Church, our destination. From there, once I had finished painting and the sun had officially set, it was another hour’s walk through the dusk back to the car.

Bodils church


WEATHER REPORT – Sunny in the morning, overcast in the afternoon. Temperature 1 – 4 degrees. Wind 3 – 8 m/s from the west. Hours of precipitation: 0 hours. Hours of sunshine: 5 hours.

STOPS with the BIVVY – 0


DAY LASTED – 10h and 49m


BIRDS SEEN and HEARD – 27 species: one new (lapwing, running total = 53 species)

LESSONS LEARNED – I am a cat person.

IN MY HEAD – the song ‘Southern Cross’ by Nine Black Alps.


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In May this year, I spent seven wonderful days painting and drawing on the ‘Pea Islands’ (Ertholmene), more commonly known as Christiansø. The project was inspired by my 2018 KYST project, and I started each day at sunrise and stopped with the sunset – outside in all weathers, trying to make a physical and emotional connection to the islands by watching, looking, painting and recording. Once again, all the artwork was completed on the day, but whereas for the KYST project I stayed as close to the coast as possible, here I divided the islands into seven consecutive ‘zones’, one for each day, and allowed myself to wander and explore within these areas as much as I liked.

A GPS record of my wanderings on the first day

Situated about 12 miles northeast of my home island of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea, Christiansø is home to about 90 residents, as well huge numbers of eider ducks, auks, seals, frogs and toads. The islands share a fascinating cultural history, and during the 17th and 18th centuries were converted into a huge naval fortress, which has remained largely unchanged since it was decommissioned in 1855.

ERTHOLMENE 04.02 Udsigt mod Coucherons Bastion

In the summer, Christiansø is a popular tourist destination from Bornholm, and hundreds of visitors take the ferry from Gudhjem each day, returning after spending three or four hours traipsing around the islands. In May, however, there were few tourists, and I was lucky enough to experience a taste of the sensations and experiences that the islands offer. My biggest challenge was the incredible richness of the flora and fauna and the overwhelming amount of things I wanted to paint. Add to this the ever changing light and weather conditions, and I had a very intense seven days that left me quite exhausted.

ERTHOLMENE 01.05 Ederfulge ved Frederiksø

On my return, I shifted my focus to the exhibition and book I had already planned. In the beginning of July I returned to the islands with my paintings and enjoyed another incredible week – this time showing my work at the tiny gallery Palivaren on Christiansø.

Just in time for the exhibition’s opening I managed to write and publish the book ERTHOLMENE, once again with the help of the designer Nye Hughes from Dalrymple in Scotland, with whom I had worked with for the KYST book. The ERTHOLMENE book is smaller (60 pp), softback and follows the same layout and narrative style of its big brother.

At the time of writing, the book is available to purchase in many of Bornholm’s bookshops and galleries. The price is 150kr (£15 Pounds Sterling). If you are not able to visit Bornholm, drop me an email stating your address and how many copies you would like, and whether you’d like it signed – and I’ll let you know how much the postage and packing costs. Payment can be made by Mobilpay, Paypal or bank transfer.

The paintings are also for sale – many are sold, but not all – so let me know if you’re interested in any of them.

Screenshots from the book


From the very beginning of this project, I really liked the idea of creating the illusion of a square/firkant of ‘Spring/green/non-snow’ surrounded by ‘Winter/white/snow’. In my mind, I saw a green grassy square surrounded by virgin snow – I would shovel the snow out of the firkant and create a perfect square of non-snow. The other Fire Kanter I had made were created on a level plane, but I also liked the idea of playing a bit with the perspective and creating a firkant partly on a non-level plane. That was the plan anyway.

Although we had already had light snow and minus temperatures since the New Year, we hadn’t yet had real deep snow – so I was very glad when the forecasters promised a proper snowfall in the first week of February. I settled on a small local quarry, Bjergebakke Stenbrud, as the venue for Firkant 06 – I knew I would be undisturbed and would have the ability to project the firkant onto the sloping sides of the quarry. I have worked and painted there before, and I find it a very inspirational place. Once all the snow had fallen, I made a preparatory recce and looked at the snow quality, the direction of the sun and shadows and where I could locate the firkant. I needed a day without further snow, and when that was promised I was ready to start – everything was perfect.

The first mistake I made related to the positioning of the firkant. The smallest adjustments of the angle and direction of the camera eye result in potentially huge changes in the form and size of the firkant (as it is on the floor, rather than as it is as seen from the point). I made the firkant much too large, which meant a lot of shovelling. In some places the snow was over 50 cm high, and I only had a old shovel. I could have saved myself an awful lot of time and effort if I had adjusted the angle of the camera a few milimetres up.

Another problem I hadn’t really recognised, was that – in order to keep the snow surrounding the firkant untouched, I would need to leap from the edge of the ‘picture’ into the firkant, where I could then begin shovelling. This meant that all the snow I cleared needed to be transported ‘out’ of the firkant and then out of the ‘picture frame’. I did this by filling IKEA bags with snow, then chucking them out over the ‘picture edges’, leaping out of the firkant making sure not to damage the virgin snow, emptying the bags and then leaping back again and repeating the process. Many times.

It didn’t take me long to realise that it would take me more than one day to clear the firkant. Other problems: the ground I was clearing was in turns grassy, stony, or rocky. In some places small bushes lay under the snow, which also needed to be cleared. My snow shovel – and my sanity – started to crack. Then, despite the weather forecasts, it started snowing and blowing quite heavily. The parts of the firkant I had cleared started to fill up with snow again. I had taken a dustpan and brush, with the naïve hope of eliminating all the snow completely, but it soon became clear that it would be impossible. By the end of the day I had hardly made any impact and was very close to giving up.

The next day was indeed sunny, which unfortunately meant that the snow developed an icy crust, which made it even more difficult to shovel. The south facing edge of the firkant started melting and drooping in the sun, despite the air temperature remaining well below freezing. I had to enlarge the firkant in order to maintain the illusion of a square, but even the tiniest change meant IKEA bags and IKEA bags of new snow to be cleared.

Returning for the third day I noticed how the cleared square had been visited by the local fauna. Hare and deer tracks led into the square, and raven wings had left beautiful imprints in the snow. I cleared as much as I could and then decided enough was enough. I never managed to clear the square completely of snow as I had imagined, but I decided I would let nature take its course. The forecasters promised warmer weather, and I imagined the snow and ice remaining in the square would soon be melted completely away.

Returning again and again, the thaw has indeed melted nearly all the snow in the firkant, but it has also completely melted one of the sides, destroying the illusion of a square. I will return sporadically and keep documenting the firkant as it slowly disappears and is consumed again by the landscape. Perhaps the fact that I scraped the snow with the shovel will leave some sort of shadow on the new growth of grasses in the Spring. In many ways Firkant 06 has been a failure, in that I never achieved the sharp distinction between the virgin snow and green grass that I envisaged. However, it was an interesting and unforgettable experience and I have really enjoyed seeing it change over time. I also may have saved the lives of a few birds and mice by exposing all that grass.

For me, the Fire Kanter project is all about physically getting to grips with the landscape, and learning more deeply about the place that I find myself in.


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FK 01 lavede jeg på den 10. januar, da vi havde frostvejr på Bornholm. På en mark tæt på Vestermarie, kradsede jeg i isen for at skabe en firkant, som ser kvadratisk ud fra et bestemt punkt.

’Fire Kanter’ er navnet på et nyt årskunstprojekt, jeg arbejder på i 2021. Nu hvor KYST udstillinger og bogen endelig er færdige, leveret og fordøjet, er jeg klar til og spændt på at begynde et ny struktureret og tidsbaseret kunstprojekt.

Jeg ville bygge videre på flere af temaerne fra KYST, men alligevel lave noget helt andet. Jeg elsker at skabe struktur eller rammer over længere tidsperioder, og er meget glad for at fordybe mig på den måde, men jeg ville også gerne ændre formatet og arbejde videre med nogle af de anamorfisk og land art installationer, jeg har lavet inden for de sidste år.

’Fire Kanter’ er anamorfiske kvadrater – stedsspecifikke installationer – skabt og fotograferet i den bornholmske natur. Jeg vil gå rundt ude i naturen, i skoven, på marken eller langs kysten, og vælge et punkt i rummet. Set fra dette punkt, vil jeg flytte, ændre og bytte tingene jeg finder rundt for at give illusionen af et kvadrat, der ’hænger’ i naturen. Jeg vil sætte mig i naturen og på den måde skabe en tæt og stoflig forbindelse med mine omgivelser.

Da det er et anamorfisk kvadrat, betyder det, at det område jeg arbejder med ikke er kvadratisk i ’virkeligheden’, men kun vil virke kvadratisk fra et bestemt punkt i rummet. Udfordringen er at skabe illusionen i et dynamisk sted ved kun at bruge naturmaterialer. Vinden, temperaturen, niveauforskelle og de formbare naturmaterialer bestemmer, om det er muligt, og om det kan lykkes. Lige nu (midt i januar) har jeg hundredvis af forskellige ideer og steder, men kun mulighed for at prøve at lave nogle af dem.

FK 01

Jeg vil gerne lave mindst en firkant om måneden, men forhåbentlig nå at lave flere. Mit mål er at skabe værker, der beskriver eller afbilder både tidens gang og den mangfoldighed af natur, der findes på Bornholm. Nogle af dem bliver lavet på velkendte steder, andre vil nok ligge mere skjult. Nogle varer kun i få timer, nogle andre meget længere. Men alle de ’fire kanter’ bliver med tiden genoptaget af naturen.

Jeg vil prøve at skabe disser naturskulpturer med så lidt brug af værktøj som muligt – kun mit kamera og kamerastativ, hvis det overhovedet er muligt. Jeg vil dokumentere processen undervejs, når den er færdig, og måske efter værket begynder af forsvinde ind i naturen igen. Disse billeder bliver delt på Instagram, Facebook og bloggen på min hjemmeside. Måske maler jeg selv de fire kanter i virkeligheden. Måske vil jeg prøve at skrive en bog eller lave en udstilling om projektet i 2022, og jeg kunne godt tænk mig at udstille nogle af ideerne og skitserne. Men måske alligevel ikke – det er et personligt og selvfinancieret projekt, som måske også forsvinder med tiden.

FK 01 – og tre dage efter…

’Fire Kanter’ er for mig en anden måde at skabe en forbindelse med den bornholmske natur. At være i landskabet og at flytte tingene rundt – jeg kan ikke undgå at blive engageret på en dyb og betydningsfuld måde. Landskabet selv giver materialerne, værktøj, motiv og sted – kunsten er inde i det, der bliver afspejlet.