What it’s like to study at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts

“The Academy of Fine Art offers acres of space, fantastic studios and an open, friendly environment,” says Malin Bülow after having completed her Master’s degree there. “I’ve developed tremendously during the time I’ve been here. And I’ve not least become entirely dependent on the wonderful studios here. And that’s the flip side of the coin: I’ve become so used to being here, and now it’s time for me to find my own two feet.”

Malin Bülow (37), Master’s degree from the Academy of Fine Art

When Malin Bülow began her education at the Academy of Fine Art, she did so after already taking a Bachelor’s degree at a similar institution in Amsterdam. Bülow is originally from Sweden but has lived a good deal of her life abroad.

“The international breadth of the Master’s programme was an important factor in my choosing the Academy of Fine Art in Oslo,” she notes. “But I was still surprised that so many of the students in my class were from outside of Norway.”

Malin Bülow initially trained as a neurobiologist before embarking on her artistic career, and as an artist she works in the intersection between art and science. She has spent a good deal of her two years as a Master’s student testing out different methods and materials, and she has worked at many of the Academy’s 23 studios, including the model and prototype studio and the studios for ceramics, metals and clothes and costumes.

“Early on I began collaborating with students of modern dance at the Academy of Dance,” she remembers. “That is what’s so fabulous about going here – there are so many talented people under the same roof! There are many opportunities for impromptu and productive collaborations with students from other departments.”

Her works of art include sculptures, installations and performances. Bülow’s collaboration with the modern dancers has been important for her performance pieces.

“I would like to encourage new students to not lock themselves into their studios,” she says. “So many exciting artistic and academic things can happen if you take advantage of all the opportunities that the school provides you with. I would in particular advise first-year students to participate in as many supervised studio sessions as possible. Having the professors sit down and discuss our art – for an entire hour, whenever they have the time – is an amazing luxury that is available to us as students.”

Bülow now plans to rent a studio in Oslo and continue working with art. Her goal is to establish herself as an artist in Norway and gradually also abroad. In the long term she also wants to share her experiences from art and science with others through artistic texts and teaching.

“The Academy of Fine Art offers acres of space, fantastic studios and an open, friendly environment,” she says. “I’ve developed tremendously during the time I’ve been here. And I’ve not least become entirely dependent on the wonderful studios here. And that’s the flip side of the coin: I’ve become so used to being here, and now it’s time for me to find my own two feet.”

PHOTO: Malin Bülow in the reception area at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts.