WANT A PIECE OF ME? New art exhibit debuting Friday features slice of originality as featured painting will allow buyers to use scissors to cut off sections they like


Painting by Elizabeth Bourne

“Have it your way” is generally not a concept offered to customers of fine art, but those attending the debut of a new exhibit of paintings at Galleri Svalbard on Friday evening will be offered the opportunity to customize their order by literally taking scissors to a featured piece to cut off sections they like.

“This painting will be available for sale…by weight,” Elizabeth Bourne, a Longyearbyen artist presenting her third exhibit since moving to Svalbard in 2019, wrote in a Facebook announcement. “It is 212 centimeters by 107 centimeters. It will be on a table, and there will be scissors, an Exacto (knife) and a metal straight edge. You can cut off as much of the painting as you want.”

“I will not do the cutting. You will. If you are not in Svalbard, I will connect you with someone here who is willing to cut a piece for you.”

The debut for the exhibit titled “Sanctuary” is from 6 to 9 p.m. The slicing up of the painting, titled “As You Like It,” will be done with an assistant present. Those interested – including from outside Longyearbyen or who are not at the debut – can contact Dina Brode-Roger (preferably by 3 p.m.) to claim a preferred section.

One caveat: Just like you can’t ask a burger chain to serve you raw meat, there are a few rules.

“The minimum size is 20cm x 25cm (8″x10″),” Bourne wrote. “You can cut only one piece. You can’t be a jerk. That is, you can’t decide to take a piece that ruins it for everyone else, or makes it a problem for other people to get a nice piece. Pieces have to be a square or a rectangle.”

Bourne stated she would put a 30,000 kroner price tag on the entire painting, so selling it by the piece means the smallest-size piece (about 26.375 grams) will cost 791 kroner.

She said she plans to record a video of the dissection “because I think it will be interesting.”

The exhibit featuring glacier and sea ice paintings, according to Bourne, is “the second in my Arctic Sonata series, and continues my personal exploration of my life in Svalbard.”