Greta Kirkwood Andresen was born in Norway in 1976 of Scottish and Norwegian descent, from an artistic background. After leaving Norway she lived in Edinburgh for close to a decade to explore more of her British heritage and culture, simultaneously for studies and work. She is based in Oslo and Edinburgh.
She has partaken in both solo and group shows in Oslo, Edinburgh and London, and her photographs are represented in public and private collections. Her work was selected for the Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition in London in 2019. Greta’s last solo exhibition was at Eleven Spitalfields Gallery in London in 2016 with her work from the Sands of Time with images from the Middle East. She is also represented by The Grey Gallery and on Artsy from January 2018.
The last few years she has travelled through Egypt, Jordan, Israel and the West Bank and Lebanon in conjunction with her latest project the Sands of Time. The book The Sands of Time was published in 2015 in Edinburgh by Word Power Books, with subsequent launch in Oslo at Interfoto in May 2015 also exhibiting a selection of photographs from the book. Lebanon, more so than any of the other countries she visited proved the complexities of walking in a society without a “security blanket” or network to fall back on. A photographer working out with the pack, trying to capture fragments of the late Ottoman Empire. In an unstable climate, with armed military personnel, tanks and police on every street corner, it was forbidden to capture any shots of military installations or personnel. On January 2, 2014 she had been close to an area in southern Beirut, where a car bomb claimed the life of six people and wounded a further 66 others. Still, life progressed as normal in the city, with the general consensus being the refusal to resign to terror. Yet the environment maintained an eerie atmosphere.
Even though some shots had to remain on the retina, rather than embalmed by the lens, these are some of the images and imprints that will remain with her throughout time. “It becomes about managing a particular time and space and finding a code of conduct to be able to walk these unruly steps in unfamiliar territories. To be present in the moment…:” she says. She uses photography and her poems as a beacon to portray what she observes – parts of our world heritage.
In 2011 she participated pro-bono (charity commission) for T&J Artwalk as photographer to document the process of several street artists (Logan Hicks, The London Police, Will Barras, Martin Whatson etc) who came to Oslo to participate in T&J Artwalk, an event in support of Human Rights Watch. Some of her photographs from the event were published in Norway’s National Broadsheet paper at that time. At her self established gallery Kirkwood.no Gallery in Oslo, she was director from 2005- 08. The gallery held a social profile to bring awareness, and to support the less fortunate members of society (this venture made £4000 for a charity in Oslo, Kirkens Bymisjon/ The Church City Mission). It was also in collaboration with (although run independently) the internationally renowned contemporary British artist Peter Howson.
Greta has been a member of The Society of Fine Art Photographers in Norway (Forbundet Frie Fotografer) since 2001. She holds a postgraduate degree in Journalism from the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, and a Bachelor of Arts (hons) in Photography from Napier University, Edinburgh.