Collages in bold colours and featuring strong, simple shapes; Eva Schmutterer's pictures of Magerøya could not have come from anywhere else. Visit the gallery tucked away just below the North Cape.

Magerøya on paper

The midnight sun over the sea at the North Cape, the steep cliffs and flat top of the island, reindeer high above a lonely fjord, poppies in bloom, a flock of gulls in flight, a lighthouse on the coast; this is the Magerøya of Eva Schmutterer's artwork. Collages created by scissors and glue, with luminous colours, simple shapes — and a striking effect.

From Nuremberg to Magerøya

Eva Schmutterer, from Nuremberg, followed a man to Magerøya in 1997. "He didn't want to move to Germany, so I had to move here", she explains. Eva was immediately fascinated by the natural landscape, and by the light that was constantly changing. Reproducing the natural beauty through art was a way of getting back to nature, of getting closer to it. Now it seems like part of her. "Nature is huge, and people are small, so we need to respect nature", says Eva.

Technique

"I really love your brochures", Eva tells www.nordnorge.com with a glint in her eye. "Lots of photographs and good-quality paper; it's a joy to cut them up." Her tools are not the paintbrush and pallet, but scissors and glue. She uses them to create multi-coloured collages featuring strong, simple shapes. When autumn comes, she takes any brochures that are left over from the tourist season, piles them up with other magazines and brochures, and that keeps her going over the winter.

Gallery and shop

Eva's gallery is in a yellow house, clad in fibre cement, with views over the sea in the fishing village of Kamøyvær. The converted house is typical of the post-war style, light and open, allowing the light to flood in over her artwork. As well as her pictures, Eva also makes humorous souvenirs in the same style; the fridge magnets, bookmarks, cards and jewellery are all hand-made by Eva, and available for very reasonable prices. Eva gave Queen Sonja her children's book about Lisa and the North Cape troll Schmurrkk, and in return she received a hand-written letter from the Queen, saying how much she was enjoying reading the book to her grandchildren.

A hectic summer

"After the high season, I always think that the peace and quiet will be lovely", says Eva. In the winter, she needs quiet to create her art. The only visitor is the occasional bus when the Hurtigruten express ships are halted by bad weather. But by the time summer comes around, Eva is looking forward to seeing lots of people and plenty of activity in the gallery. She also has a wide circle of friends on Magerøya. "People were a little reserved at first", she says, but now she is part of the community. The local residents are also proud of the gallery, and find it a great place to buy presents for people.

Read more

The gallery's website www.evart.no gives you a delightful taste of Eva's artwork. www.nordkapp.no is the website of the North Cape tourist organisation, and has everything you need to know to get to the North Cape and find your way around.