Experiences and narratives on the edge of the world

Lofoten AIR 01

Due to the Corona Virus, our planned event Lofoten AIR 01 needs to be postponed. 

We will publish the new dates as soon as the situation is more certain.

Lofoten AIR 01 is an international event, which we aim to arrange every three years. In our historic buildings at Kvalnes, we arrange workshops for guest artists and – craftsmen, as well as open days for the public. The Artists and craftsmen also participate in our Artist-In-Residence programme Villa Lofoten AIR. That has operated since 2015, and the activities for 2021 are already planed. Lofoten AIR

The project is based on two themes, grounded in the work carried out by our artists - and craftsmen-in-residence. One theme is the relationship between the permanent and the impermanent. The other one is the relationship between conversion and transgression. The latter theme is exemplified through the work of architects and craftsmen during the restoration of our conservation worthy buildings: Former agricultural buildings are transformed into guest houses and production studios. A relevant question in this context is whether this transformation constitutes a transgression of antiquarian principles of buildings preservation. 

During Lofoten AIR 01, we plan to celebrate the completion of our construction work and to offer tours for the public. The artists will present the work they have carried out during their stay at Villa Lofoten. These works range from exhibitions and public readings, to concerts, film screenings, lectures and presentations of the artists works in cooperation with Bøstad School.

Throughout this year, we also arrange smaller workshops for composers, writers and textile artists

– along with open days for the public.

Lofoten AIR 01 is funded by The Nordic Cultural Fund, The Norwegian Arts Council and Nordland County Council.


From the guest book

- Our stay at Aaslaug's reclaimed cabin exceeded our wildest dreams. She is a true beacon for understanding the Lofoten Islands, a repository of knowledge of cultural and artistic heritage who will help you understand the history of the place. Her hospitality was boundless. And her space, the Steamery, is one of the most beautiful we've ever had the privilege of staying in. You can hear the wind above you and see the rush of the water below you, look at the herons and gulls and eagles fly through the windows, and sense everything from within its cozy confines except the taste of the salt itself. Then of course there's the landscape, which exceeds description by virtue of its sublimity. Kvalnes, where the Steamery is located, seems secluded even when compared with many other locations in the Lofoten islands; in any event, it is not touristy by any stretch of the imagination and has very little light pollution at night and so made for a perfect place to stay up to look for the aurora borealis. We can't wait to make the pilgrimage back to Lofoten for a longer stay!

Jonathan Schroeder, USA 23.2.2020



Kvalnes is situated in the middle of Lofoten, a quiet place at the foot of steep mountains facing the ocean with spectacular views of the North Sea. In the summer, we can follow the sun's movement around the clock. In the dark evenings from early fall until late winter, the northern lights play across the sky.

Villa Lofoten offers overnight stays combined with cultural experiences in a historical environment.

We invite our guests, tourists as well as artists, to join in creating new life in the authentic houses that once belonged to the fishermen at Kvalnes. Through new approaches and diverse media, we facilitate the production of narrative projects that focus on cultural and natural history. Activities at Villa Lofoten are based on rural values, individual knowledge and cooperation. 


Villa Lofoten AIR


Villa Lofoten AIR offers guest stays for artists, researchers and artisans, from Norway as well as from the rest of the world. In this way, we contribute to public conversation, freedom of expression and democracy. Our guests engage in a dialogue with the environment.

They thematise social issues, the past and the future, nature and culture, beliefs and sexuality.

Their diverse narratives are actualised through issues such as the conflict between the rural and the urbane, the antagonism between consumption and sustainability, the ambivalence between the old and the new, and the tension between freedom and free trade. They present their stories through sound and architecture, notching and plant colouring, film and photography, astrophysics and history, textile and text.

Film Production


In our films, we explore the intersection of modern everyday life and historical cultural processes. Villa Lofoten produces it's own films, we are a co-producer and host others’ productions.

Experience Kvalnes



Villa Lofoten is founded on culture and nature. Through the restoration of old buildings and their conversion we conserve and communicate Lofoten's unique history.

New life in old buildings is better than depopulation and decay. Values created by previous generations are given meaning in new contexts. Our goal is to offer unforgettable experiences to our guests. Our emphasis is on authenticity and frugality.


At Villa Lofoten you can live in a historical farm and in listed harbour buildings.

In earlier times these buildings were vital in allowing those who lived here to use local resources in a sustainable way. Since time immemorial people in Lofoten have survived through a combination of fishing and farming.



At Villa Lofoten, projects and workshops are arranged with the aim of bringing out local resources and bring people together with a wish to share their knowledge. Here melting pots as well as meeting places are created for local knowledge and international currents, the known and the unknown, the short term and the long lasting.

While many participants are adults and highly qualified, a primary goal of these productions is to encourage the participation of young people with interests in rural values – often in combination with workshops for children and teenagers.

Aaslaug Vaa (b. 1955) is an agriculturalist, teacher and cand.philol. in the subjects art history, history and philosophy. From 1981 to 86 she was Director of Cultural Affairs and Cinema in Åsnes municipality. From 1986 to 2008 Aaslaug was the County Director of Cultural Affairs in Nordland County Council. Among the projects she has developed and managed is Artscape Nordland, The Hamsun Centre at Hamarøy and the North-Norwegian heritage project Footprints in the North.


Since 2008 Aaslaug has been developing the cultural production company Villa Lofoten, which produces films, conducts workshops, reconstructs listed buildings and runs geotourism.

In 2016 Aaslaug released her directorial debut with the Amanda award nominated feature documentary Every Song a Story.


-host and owner Aaslaug Vaa