A life in balance - living & working in Bergen

Living and working in Bergen means a certain lifestyle where work is complemented by recreation – and life. As John Lennon once wrote, “Life is what happens to you when you are busy making other plans.” People in Bergen find that life is good – and that the balance with their professional lives often is a perfect fit.

There is a wide range of careers to choose from in the Bergen Region, covering the entire span of industry, commerce and creative activities. Bergen Group is a maritime industrial group specialized within Shipbuilding, Maritime Service, Offshore and Technology. The company employs more than 1650 employees from Kirkenes in the far north of Norway to Stavanger in the south

The group has a number of employees from abroad, including Beata Pilaczyk, with roots in Poland and a Masters Degree in Engineering. Says Pilaczyk; “It was a coincidence that I ended up in Bergen. I was supposed to stay here and work for Bergen Group for six weeks. Bergen Group wanted me to stay another six weeks, and at the end of that period the company offered me a permanent job”. After two years in the city she has settled down, working as head of the Pipe Department in Bergen Group, with responsibility for 11 employees.

Artists from all over Europe are living in Bergen due to the Bergen National Academy of the Arts, including Vibeke Harild.
© Cato Bruarøy

An Artistic Life
Artists from all over Europe are living in Bergen due to the Bergen National Academy of the Arts, which is the top centre of excellence in Europe in ceramic and 3-D arts. The Academy has 300 students and a staff of 100. More than 50% of the teaching staff have qualifications corresponding to professor or assistant professor criteria.

“We found this small island by chance and fell in love with it immediately. It was pure luck, says the Danish artist Vibeke Harild.” Together with her artist husband Peter Marron from Ireland she runs an art gallery with a surprisingly high level of quality on one of the most beautiful islands in Norway, 40 kilometres south of Bergen.

Shortly after moving to the small island in Os outside Bergen nine years ago, the couple established Vedholmen Galleri. In addition to their own products they exhibit and sell work from other artists as well. The gallery has six different exhibitions every year - not only ceramics but also glass art, oil paintings, weaving, handmade bags, etc. Quality is the major criteria for choosing artists.

“We are living and working here on the island, but we keep in close touch with the artist community in Bergen and the rest of Norway. We feel very lucky! We live so to say in the middle of the beautiful nature which western Norway is famous for. The local community has welcomed us and helped us in establishing our own art gallery. This is where we want to live. This is quality living,” says Vibeke.

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