Draft:Ross Kolby

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Ross Kolby
Ross Kolby.jpg
Born7th November 1970
Baerum, Norway
OccupationArtist, author, actor
Years active1996 - present

Ross Kolby[edit]

Ross Kolby (born 7th November 1970) is a Norwegian visual artist, author and actor. His work references classical art, historic events and persons as well as debate contemporary topics.[1]


Kolby is educated at Asker kunstfagskole (1991-1992), Oslo National Academy of the Arts (1992–1998) and Accademia di Belle Arti di Roma (1995). He lived and worked in Copenhagen from 1999–2004, but has since then lived in Oslo.

The artist[edit]

Kolby has held several solo exhibitions in both Norway and Denmark and has participated at a number of group exhibitions in Norway, Denmark,[2] Sweden,[3] Poland[4] and Lithuania.

In his works Kolby debates themes such as racism, handicapped people’s rights, environmental problems, sexual abuse of children, war and political conflict. He has several times used popes as symbols in his paintings. In his works dealing with racism and catholic priests' sexual abuse of children Kolby uses a pope as the motif.[5]

In 2013 he produced and appeared in the documentary film And the truth shall make you free about the child abuse in the Catholic Church.[6]

After Anders Behring Breivik’s 2011 Norway attacks in Oslo and at Utoya on 22nd July Kolby painted a Yara International bag of artificial fertilizer to debate extremism and the individual’s responsibility of using or abusing available technology.[7]

Kolby has also painted numerous portraits of amongst others former UN High Commissioner for Refugees Thorvald Stoltenberg, pianist Leif Ove Andsnes, US Catholic Bishop Edward Braxton, model Helena Christensen and WWII veterans Special Operations Executive agent Gunnar Sonsteby, Special Operations Executive agent Erling Lorentzen and Spitfire pilot and leader of the London based 332 (Norwegian) Squadron Wilhelm Mohr.

HM King Harald V of Norway and Kolby at the unveiling ceremony.

In connection with the celebration of 70 years since the liberation from Nazi-Germany’s occupation of Norway, Kolby in 2015 was commissioned to portray Norway’s three generations of monarchs attached to the events of WWII.[8] He painted His Majesty King Harald V, King Olav V and King Haakon VII in a triple portrait with the title The Kings of the Liberation.[9] The portraits were subsequently unveiled by His Majesty the King at Akershus Fortress and are on permanent display at Norway’s Resistance Museum there.[10]

The documentary film The Kings of the Liberation places the portraits in a historic context with the Royal Family and their contribution during WWII.[11]

In 2019 the Mid Sussex Times brought the news that Kolby would be portraying Dame Vera Lynn to the Royal Albert Hall in London.[12] Lynn, iconic for her performances for the Allied troops during WWII, kept up the morale all over the Allied world with her music. Her many concerts around in Britain and tours in Africa, India and Burma gave her a unique place with both military personnel and civilians all over the world, much also due to her legendary radio program Sincerely Yours which the BBC broadcasted all over the world during the war.

Her songs as We'll Meet Again and The White Cliffs of Dover are for many the very soundtrack of WWII. Lynn also appears in the text on Pink Floyd’s album The Wall in the legendary song Vera (song).

Kolby met with the then 101 year old singer in her home in Ditchling and made studies for the portrait.[13] The painting will be unveiled at the Royal Albert Hall in January 2020 and be on permanent display at the iconic venue.

The author[edit]

Kolby debuted as a published author in 2001 with the fantasy novel Will O'Phillie and the story of Lord Falconbridge on Cappelen Damm.[14] The story takes place in England where the 12-year-old Will O'Phillie suddenly brings to life magical powers as he walks in a forest and reads aloud a Shakesperian sonette. This awakens the head of the more than 400 year old Lord Henry Falconbridge who was decapitated in 1622. Together they embark on a journey to fight an attack from dark powers as well as to find Ophelia, the long lost love of Lord Falconbridge. The novel was also published in Danish.[15]

In 2008 Kolby had published on Kagge Forlag the historic novel Flames about the witch processes in Northern Norway in the 17th century.[16] The book takes place in Lyngen by Tromso where a love story and drama unfolds around the Danish-Norwegian King Christian IV’s historic visit at the location in 1599. The novel debates the witch processes in Norway as well as religious oppression of women. Kolby has also written a screenplay of the story and has worked for an adaption of Flames.

With Ghostwalking – haunted places in Norway Kolby in 2009 had published his first documentary book along with co-author Kristin Amundsen. It is a wandering through known and unknown allegedly haunted places in Norway.[17]

The actor[edit]

Kolby as Dr Belling in the short film The Nundal Murder by director Ola Moen

As an actor Kolby is part of the theater ensemble Baerum Teaterselskap where he has played lead characters and smaller parts. He also contributes in films and TV productions.[18]

In 2019 he premiered his walking theater Destinies of War at Akershus Fortress in Oslo.[19] Through seven destinies he brings to life the Nazi occupation of Norway, from the Germans’ arrival in Oslo in 1940 to the homecoming of the Royal Family in 1945. Kolby is the narrator telling these tales, accompaigned by film music and sound effects.


External links[edit]