First of all, let me just say that we pulled this one off. There were so many factors in play during this job and time was probably the one at the top. We didn’t really know anything but the sizes off the walls in the restaurant / bar we were hired to paint. Will the establishment be shut down during the paint job? Will there be enough room to cut our stencils? Will our projected stencils work? Do we have time to fix any stencils that are off? Is there time?
The answer is, there is never enough time, no matter what you do if you’re doing what you love. We began driving up to Norway in a snowstorm early in the morning and arrived in the afternoon. It turned out that Nydalen Bryggeri & Spiseri was expanding and opening up another floor with a dedicated game / hangout /barsection, and this was the area we were painting. What we didn’t know was that we would be sharing it with a crew of carpenters. The electricians would come on Monday, and so would the lights. We were stuck with two portable construction-lights over the weekend. But something is better than nothing right? We dove right in. We cut the stencils lying down on the floor with workers buzzing around us.
Before we went to bed around 1 am on day one, we had already finished the first wall. It was hard, since we spent half the day in a car focusing on the snowy road, but it was a massive psychological win, and we needed an estimate on how fast we could get a wall done.
Since living costs are really high in Norway, we planned on eating “real food” once a day at the hotel breakfast (included with our stay). We stuck with the plan and survived on rye-bread, spreadable cheese and protein-puddings which we brought with us from Sweden. Our work nourished us. That, and perhaps a glass of wine or two before bed.
We spent three nights in Oslo and didn’t really see anything but floor, walls, ass-cracks and breakfast. In our short stay we worked a total of 43 hours each, and managed to clean up and pack just after midnight on Sunday evening. The sleep we had was dreamless. Mind non-existent. We were dead as doornails before we even hit the pillow each night. Every six hours we would brush our teeth and pretend we were getting ready for a normal days work, to trick the mind that we hadn’t already just worked for six or twelve hours a minute ago.
And finally, when the last wall was done, it was worth every single second. A few days after coming home we got the feedback; both client and designer are pleased, everything a-ok. Total win. Below are the walls from our final evening in Nydalen.
Photos by Therese Jarmo.