Press release: Connie Imboden, Marcel Leliënhof, Einar Sira, Caroline Reistad and Andreas Smaaland to Nordic Light

Kristiansund, March 20, 2013

Please plot in the dates in your calendar, 23-27 April. We welcome you to Nordic Light International Festival of Photography in Kristiansund, Norway! Photographers Marcel Leliënhof, Connie Imboden, Einar Sira, Caroline Reistad and Andreas Smaaland are ready to join us!

Hells Angels, Oslo. Photo: Marcel Leliënhof

Marcel Leliënhof

Marcel Leliënhof (1966, the Netherlands) has been a professional photographer since 1993, and his list of merits as photographer is impressively comprehensive. Marcel was born in Rotterdam, and grew up in Bergen, Norway.  At the age of 22 he moved to England, where 14 years in London provided him with extremely valuable experience, as well as an excellent education in photography from the London College of Printing (now London College of Communication). Marcel’s years in London equipped him with a sound knowledge of human nature and a passionate humanitarian commitment, as well as an inquisitive and open mind.

It is precisely these qualities that have led to many of his projects. Although Marcel is often called the "celebrity advertising photographer", it isn’t a title he associates with himself. For more than a decade he has dedicated much of his time to humanitarian work for organisations such as the Church City Mission (Kirkens Bymisjon), SOS Children's Villages, The Norwegian Cancer Society (Kreftforeningen), Kirkens SOS, The Support Centre for Victims of Incest (Støttesenteret mot incest) and Norway’s national drug helpline, Rustelefonen. In addition, he spent four years as a field works for Norwegian People’s Aid (Norsk Folkehjelp) and a similar number of years as a photographer for Amnesty International.   

Some say that Marcel’s pictures demonstrate a perfect blend of edge and elegance, of rock ‘n’ roll and reality. It is this combination we will get to experience during the festival when he shows the pictures from his project “Hells Angels – a Norwegian biker odyssey”. Featuring unique photographs of the Hells Angels (HA) in Norway his project portrays the behind closed doors life of this myth shrouded motorcycle brotherhood. The pictures will be published in a book scheduled for release in the autumn of 2013. Marcel is a keen motorcycle enthusiast himself as well as having a fascination for subcultures.

“When I decided to do a book on motorcycle culture, in wanted to start with the Hells Angels chapter that is biggest and most difficult to approach,” says Marcel about the book project he has spent three years of his life on.

This is the first time that a book depicting the Hells Angels community from the inside has been published in Norway, and it will remain the only one of its kind done with the approval of the Hells Angels themselves. Only three similar books exist anywhere in the world. Marcel’s pictures are portraits of individual chapter members, and they capture the essence of what it means to be a Hells Angel. Marcel has joined the Angels at parties, motorcycle rallies and at home with their families.

“People are people. When you get to know them, whether they are politicians, actors or a Hells Angels members, most people are pretty ordinary,” says Marcel when asked about these myth shrouded characters after an appearance on the Norwegian breakfast TV show “God Morgen Norge”. At the festival you will get a preview of the pictures and hear Marcel’s talk about the Hells Angels. There will also be a Q&A session and panel debate. Website:

Connie Imboden

Connie Imboden (1953, USA) has an extensive career as a photographer and her work is featured in a number of permanent exhibitions, such as The Museum of Modern Art in New York, The Baltimore Museum of Art, The National Museum of American Art, The Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, Bibliotheque Nationales in Paris, The Ludwig Museum in Köln, and many other public and private collections throughout Europe and America. She teaches at Maryland Institute College of Art and has an impressively long CV. It is our great pleasure to welcome Connie to Kristiansund, and according to her blog the pleasure is mutual:

Photo: Einar Sira

Photo: Einar Sira

Director’s Choice, Einar Sira

Einar Sira (1960, Norway) was “discovered” by Nordic Light’s Artistic Director Morten Krogvold, who will present his Director’s Choice during the festival. Einar will show his exhibition “A sight for sore eyes”, about death, decay and the process of decomposition.

“My idea for this project was to study different stages of decay. I have spent three years working with different animals, birds, plants and objects. Most of the pictures are taken in a small pond in my own garden with a medium format digital camera,” explains Einar Sira.

“To focus on so few subjects for such a long period is fascinating, demanding and informative. The project has been important for me visually. I have experimented a lot with light and taken pictures at different times of the day.”

For 12 years Einar Sira ran an engineering consultancy with many employees. His interest and passion for photography lay dormant and unrealised for many years. The consultancy is now sold, something which increases Einar’s possibilities to work even more seriously on his photography projects. Einar Sira wants to take more photographs – a lot more.

“Music has been an important part of my identity ever since I was young. Rock, jazz, Latin inspired music and blues artists have been vital sources of inspiration for the creative process behind these pictures. The title of the exhibition ‘A sight for sore eyes’ is borrowed from a Tom Waits song (Foreign affairs, 1977), as is the subtext ‘Working hard – hardly working’. Tom Waits is a fountainhead of ideas and one of my key sources of inspiration. If my pictures resonate with just a little of his feeling, I have succeeded.”  Website:

Photo: Caroline Reistad

Debut Exhibitor of the Year, Caroline Reistad

Caroline Reistad (1968, Norway) was raised in Norheimsund, and has lived and worked in Oslo since 1986. In 1998 she got to know Alberto Corda and his family, who came to stay with her in Oslo when Corda exhibited at the Henie-Onstad art centre (HOK). Alberto Corda made an indelible impression on Caroline, not just because of his photographic work, but also due to his life history.
Caroline Reistad has all-round experience as photographer. She has worked commercially, with portraiture and advertising amongst other things, since 1995. However during recent years she has given more time to her own projects in which she always focuses on people.

In her latest and most extensive documentary project “Point of View”, which she started in 2002, Caroline focuses on the vulnerability of children as a result of the wider socio-political situation and their family’s financial situation and ability to care for them.

Caroline has travelled the world in order to capture situations and stories that grab your attention and connect you with the destinies of those she portrays. Her vision for the project “Point of View” is to put a spotlight on the financial situations and political mechanisms that affect the lives of the people in her pictures.
Caroline Reistad’s social commitment has recently resulted in collaboration with Tank Design and author Frode Grytten, who is writing poetic texts to accompany her photographs for a book project that is now underway.

Andreas Smaaland

Andreas Smaaland (1972, Norway) is a newcomer to the world of photography. He began to take photographs in 2008 and graduated from the Oslo Fotokunstskole in 2011. The same year he also became Interfoto’s debut exhibitor. Nordic Light is delighted to welcome Andreas to the festival, where we look forward to getting better acquainted with both him and his work.


  • The festival runs from 23 – 27 April. Beyond Pixels - Unfestival of Photography runs from 23 – 24 April. All the exhibitions remain on show in Kristiansund throughout the period 23 April – 5 May.

    Contact info:

    • Anne Lise Flavik (general manager and festival director):, Tel: +47 920 17 130
    • Elisabeth B. Bjerkestrand (press officer):, Tel: +47 984 56 335