February 2018

Erika Lundahl

Erika Lundahl in front of the Gingerbread House

Paonia Experiential Leadership Academy (PELA): Where are you from?

EL: “I grew up in Corvallis Oregon which is a college town in the Willamette Valley. And now living in Seattle Washington."

PELA: What are you working on during your time at Elsewhere studios?

EL: “I am working on a multi-media writing and music project based on my experience biking from Seattle to the tar sands of Northern Alberta. I traveled along the tar sands pipeline collecting stories from farmers, biologists, parents, people from the local first nations, oil and gas workers and politicians with a group of friends and storytellers.”

PELA: How do you work best?

EL: “I tend to start writing around ten o-clock AM. I start out with a free write based off of a prompt from a book or interview that inspires me. After the free writes, I zone in on something that I want to continue working on more of --usually ideas from the free write that I want to further develop. Later in the afternoon I usually switch over to something a little more hands on like writing music or playing the guitar.

PELA: Do you have any books/movies/songs that inspire you and your art?

EL: “I have been reading a ton of Joan Didion lately who is a journalist that writes about sense of place, politics, all through a journalistic lens that is also very poetic. I also am inspired by poets like Adrienne Rich who passed away a few years ago. My earliest big music influence was Ani Difranco, and other lady musicians from the 90’s and 2000’s.

PELA: Is this your first time in an artist residency?

EL: “Yes it is.”

PELA: Why did you decide to come to Elsewhere?

EL: “A friend of mine did the Elsewhere residency last year. He told me really positive things about it so I decided to apply, and I got in and now here I am.”