Maleri i bytte mot festivalvenue

By: Covid-19 | Photos: Covid-19

Mens SKMU med kunstsilo satser internasjonalt samler Anthony Higginson lokale kunstnere for å feire dem på Teateret i Kristiansand.

– The painting is the whole reason why ReGeneration exists. It’s quite a story, says Tony Higginson, who runs the festival ReGeneration.

After the library in Kristiansand was refurbished, the painter Anthony Higginson walked through the corridor of the library and he saw artwork of Terje Moen shown on the walls. The thought that came to his mind: What a shame.

“It’s a corridor for passing through, but that’s another story,” says Anthony Higginson who goes by the name Tony.

Then the library asked Higginson if he wanted to show art there. He told them to give him a few months to think about it.

“I though no bloody way I’m gonna show art in this space,” he says.

And then he started thinking of a cite specific work for the inner reader and what the reader takes in while reading.

This resulted in a 7,5 meter long painting that was shown on the walls of the library for 3-4 months in 2018.

Later on he got in touch with Kjetil Nordhus who was managing culture and art events at Teateret in 2018, and together they wondered if Teateret could somehow rent the painting. Teateret couldn’t afford it, which lead to a different kind of transaction. The deal was made. Teateret could keep the painting if Tony could stage ReGeneration in their venues.


The festival is formed by artists and their work. The concept is basic: to celebrate local artists and musicians. The content is always changing.

The first year of the festival was facilitating open space where everything can happen due to some improvising artists, and other artists’ individual works.

Last year Fædrelandsvennen asked: how do you do this on such a short time scale?

This year Higginson was looking at spaces such as Festningen in Kristiansand, Haubitz Hall and also outside possibilities for the festival due to Covid-19 and restrictions. However, this year the festivals site was decided by the intentions of the painting.

“We have less performers this year. Last year it was almost 24 hours of art and entertainment. This year it’s condensed to about 12 hours. It says nothing of the quality of this year’s festival, but it makes it more concentrated and maybe more personal and closer despite the 1 meter covid-19 distance,” explains Higginson.

“The Regeneration thing is – I want to cross over all art genres and go from the extremely popular to the more avant garde. My job is to somehow make this very diverse collection of artists and musicians to work together. That’s what I enjoy. I look very much forward to it. The experiment of one thing changing into another. One evening with many moods and experiences,” Higginson says.

Albeit the struggle with selling tickets this year, Higginson’s optimism with the festival is real. Still Higginson sticks to the core of ReGeneration; celebrating local artists from Kristiansand, with an open approach to whoever this celebration concerns, artist or not.

Kristian Isachsen: chaos as instrument

One of the performers: Isachsen enjoys spontaneity in his work which is fundamentally manifested in sound. He has come to put his trust not in the expected and the predicted.

To him it’s about being flexible and adaptive to chaos.

“Chaos often provokes us to react negatively, but this is a paradox as we need uncertainty. Not being afraid of uncertainty is a different attitude that shifts the element of expectation and the element of surprise,” says Isachsen.

Isachsen will perform with Tony Higginson for the festival. It will be a library mix meeting Higginson’s poems. What to expect from the unexpected? Maybe something calm. Maybe chaos.

Isachsen describes the process of improvisation as a kind of emotional synesthesia, where the feelings that arise during the experience feed back into the music and vice versa. Allowing to embrace and embody the full spectrum of emotions without fear of the dark, of dissonance and chaos, makes both performers and audience co-create a non-judgemental space where surprises can happen.

Kristiansand: international town?

“What motivated me originally last year was that when I saw a “Kunstsilo talk” whereas in 10 years time, Kristiansand will become this international town filled with international artists. What about all these local artists that have been doing this for many many years? I thought that every year the local artists should claim Kristiansand on their own terms for at least three days,” Higginson says.

Higginson explains that all the artists for this year’s ReGeneration touches him in different ways.

This year’s performers:

Terje Dragseth
Higginson & Isachsen
Henrik Østrem
Sea Change
Dj Ludder
Lovlydia & the Cast of Ludo
Dj secondhandsmoke
Erik Lindo
Anthony Higginson
Julian Blaue & Edy Poppy
Einar Stenseng