In her essay “Why I Adore the Night,” author Jeanette Winterson writes that the evening “allows this dream time, and the heavier, thicker dark of winter gives us a chance to dream a little while we are awake.” Artist Sharone Halevy sought out such nighttime creativity on a retreat abroad, a unique place where nighttime — and artistic juices — could last 24 hours a day: Finland.

However, COVID had other plans. Nonetheless, Sharone’s quest continued, this time on another retreat, as she details below, that was technology-free. Such alone time leads to contemplation, a place where she created visual and sonic art that will be on display in the neighborhood April 12-29. Sharone found communion with herself abroad and community back home: St. John’s Lutheran Church (155 Milton Street) is hosting Sharone’s newest show, Postcards From, a multi-sensory exhibition that shares the paintings and photography created on the artist’s travels to Iceland and Finland, lands vast and deep as Sharone’s expansive canvases.

The artist’s piece “I think this is what I am suppose to paint when in Iceland. Aka. My Fanny pack”

Greenpointers: What brought you to Iceland and Finland a few years back?

Sharone Halevy: I love the cold. So when I realized I wanted to do an artist residency, I thought of a place I loved visiting, and was hoping to go to again: Iceland. Plus, the last time I was there was in January, where we had 20 hours of darkness, so I thought it would be incredible to also get to see what 24 hours of daylight felt like, in a small isolated town in the north of Iceland, living on a fjord with an Icelandic horse breeding farm shared on the property.

I made my way over there, and found such calm and inspiration in the lore and land of it, so I applied the following year to a winter residency in Finland. I had never been and was excited to see how it differed from Iceland as well and how that would inspire me! But that January, Omicron hit and the residency that month was canceled, so I ended up going in the summer instead. Originally in January we were supposed to experience a silent retreat where we would work and have four days of the week in total silence, but the summer was no technology. It was incredible having a month without my phone and no internet. Just surrounded by the people I was living with, my canvas and paint, and a regular paper map to figure out how to get to a grocery store. 


Solitude informed your works, and it seems like a droll question to ask “what did you learn in that time,” but maybe we can reframe that more in an open-ended way: can you discuss your experience there and how it informed your art?

Big question! I don’t want to give too much away, because I talk a lot about this in the audio portion of the show, but the biggest take away I experienced in my art during these creative moments of solitude is I had nowhere to hide from myself. I found myself really working through certain fears around “doing enough” or “is my art interesting” and instead of leaning into those types of questions, realizing I needed to start to ask why I was asking those questions. I don’t often get to create work of my own/for myself, being primarily a commission-based artist. This time of solitude, especially in Finland (which was a no-technology residency) was a real gift to making so many discoveries around how I want to challenge myself in creating new work and my emotional thought process around that. 

How did the partnership with St. John’s as a hosting venue come to be?

Years ago, I saw a show musical friends of mine were putting on at St. John’s. I loved the experience and found the church itself to be stunning and inviting. I knew I wanted my art show to be in an unconventional space, and found myself constantly imagining that church. I am a non-religious person, but I adore the architecture of the space, and the fact that a church is a place to be contemplative and open to possible new experiences, be it around religion or not. We (my producer Irene and I) actually got to meet with Pastor Foster and talk to her about the show, learn more about the church itself. It is rare to find a space that truly just wanted to support its local community, the arts, and anyone who just needs a place to rest, celebrate, whatever it may be. So I hope having my artwork in that kind of a unique and welcoming environment can help invite people to travel into other worlds through my paintings.

Was it a process to transport these pieces over to the States?

Oh boy. This was comical; when my residency in Iceland was done, I rolled all these massive paintings up and it was incredibly heavy. 40 yards of paint covered fabric on a pole and all the artwork was taller than I am. But, I was also traveling via campervan, so the paintings and I drove around Iceland and then had to be super wrapped, bubble wrapped, and then wrapped even more to be taken on the plane in the section of odd-sized items, along with others’ skiis and surfboards. I luckily figured out a better system for my return from Finland and it was a lot easier to transport, I was prepared. All in all, it was entertaining for many people seeing my 5’2″ frame carrying around massive rolls of what I am sure looked like dirty canvas around main cities and airports. 

Photo of Sharone in Iceland

You recently got a studio space for yourself to work in in Chelsea, congrats! What was the journey to acquiring a space and how will it evolve your work?

I love that you ask this because it is directly related to my time in Finland. While there, all the artists, writers, etc, worked in a communal work space; we were able to share process, thoughts, inspirations, questions, everything with each other. When I got back to the States and to my small studio, I found myself having difficulty focusing. I felt deeply alone, exhausted. So I realized I wanted to build a studio space for myself as well as be able to make a coworking space for creatives. I searched around the commercial real estate sites like and went to look at a few spaces. The one I landed on in Chelsea was maybe the fifth studio I saw and instantly fell in love. It is intimate, yet airy and has such a warm energy to it. I love having more space to work, but it has also been so exciting bringing in other artists and supporting them. I always work better when I feel like I am active and inspired. I have no idea how my work will change, but I feel a new kind of invigorated and am so excited to see the community that comes out of what is now called Cardboard Cat Collective. 

Scale seems important in this work; these three pieces feel quite grand. Was it fun to work on such an expansive canvas?

There is nothing I love more than getting to work big. I paint to sound, be it music, environment, conversation, whatever I can listen to, so when I get to work large, I get to move large. It’s exhausting and thrilling. It can feel like a dance with the canvas and paint. I would finish painting sessions sweating and out of breath, and felt so alive. I always look forward to when I can paint large scale and encourage many of my clients to not be afraid of big sizes! 

Anything else you’d like to add?

I am so excited to share this multi-sensory gallery with you. Yes, you will get to see paintings, but I also offer a whole audio tour that goes along with all the paintings and the making of each one, as well as an exciting interactive element which is a suprise you get to experience if you make it to the show! 

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