In conversation: Photographer Thea Løvstad For BASIUM.

June 20, 2021

Norwegian eco artist Thea Løvstad captures a wonderful sense of stillness and sensuality with her photography. Inspired by the raw landscapes of Norway, she created some beautiful "BASIUM Moments" for us.

A woman with change as an intention, for us and the planet.

We were very curious about Thea's path and talked to her about her love for photography and her holistic approach to work and life in general.

You describe yourself as an eco-artist. Could you explain that a bit to us? What does it exactly mean to you?

It’s a title I’ve come up with myself in order to describe a complete lifestyle and mindset, both personally and in my art work. On a personal level it includes being mindful about consumption (food, clothes dwellings, electricity, cosmetics, etc). The main point is to always consider the following: ‘Where does it originate from, how does it affect nature, where will it end up and lastly can it somehow be reused and close the cycle?’ None of us can tick all the boxes and be 100% perfect, but as far as possible, I wish to leave a small footprint where I can. I wish to create and be part of a circular economy.

In real life this means a plant-based diet, with locally produced food and ideally no packaging (or at least, biodegradable). Clothing wise I only buy five garments per season and they should be ethically made/consist of eco-friendly and long-lasting materials or be vintage/second-hand. In terms of cosmetics, I try using the bare minimum, ideallyorganic. Keeping reusable bottles and boxes in bags is a way to avoid unnecessary waste when ordering takeaway. Last but not least, I try shifting my focus on the more important things in life such as family, friends and memories rather than objects of desire.

On a professional basis, my aim is to solely work and collaborate with like-minded clients, leading an ethical and eco-friendly vision and practice. This also includes collaborators like MUA and models. Ideally the studio I’m shooting in too: preferably there should be a no single-use plastic policy and a green energy provider (however, this has been slightly tricky during the pandemic). All my prints are made in a lab providing a carbon neutral production and delivery in addition to using sustainable and biodegradable ink and paper. When travel such as flights are required for work I offset my flight emissions, however I try keeping most of the work local, in London.


What does a typical day look like for you these days?

These days my rhythm generally tends to be way slower than pre pandemic times, for natural reasons. The alarm goes off around 8 am (if there’s no shoot to attend), I try avoiding screens before the first cup of coffee however truth to be told most of the time I end up checking emails and scrolling. Then it’s time for breakfast, my favourite meal: which usually consists of coffee, lemon infused water and a green smoothie topped with coco nibs, bee pollen and Qnola, accompanied by a podcast or BBC (I adore radio and listening to people chatting away). Followed by some hours spent doing admin/emails, research (reading books, watching films, visiting markets or exhibitions, fields trips etc), working on my own projects or doing home shoots (the majority of my shoots have been done from home this year). The last few months I’ve been located in Norway due to the lockdown in UK, so I managed to get into a really good habit of going for long, brisk walks along the coast every single day, even on snowy and frostbitten days. Fresh air surely is great medicine and nature can always spark inspiration.

However, after 5 months in Norway I’ve now finally returned to London and it should be interesting to see if this pandemic has changed our behaviour and social habits as the city gradually opens and restrictions are eased!

What do you love the most about photography? And how did your interest in photography evolve?

The ability to capture and freeze a moment, do storytelling, create visually appealing art – all within one medium and without a single word! Frankly I have never been particularly good with words, but with photography you can still convey feelings and communicate in a really beautiful way, hence why I ended up loving it.

Are there any photographers that you look up to?

I have many, but these are on the top of my list:

Viviane Mayer – Her ability to capture odd moments, misfits and “insignificant” everyday details (without lacking in quality) was just extraordinary! She also managed to always get really close to her subjects, despite this undertone of voyeurism, you can tell from the images that most of the time the subject had no idea they were being photographed.

Mark Borthwick – His fashion photography is to me pure perfection. It does not have that typical polished look and is never “pretty” but it just looks incredibly cool, artistic and timeless. When I see his images I’m intrigued to know more about the subjects, they seem to always be their true self. Visually and technically, it’s appealing but always with a hint of something slightly quirky.

Lina Scheynius – Lina's work is just so candid and real! Extremely tender and beautiful yet exposing intimate, raw moments like birth and sex which makes it stand out. Within one single click and frame there is an abundance of emotions.

Rinko Kuwaichi – Her work is incredibly serene and poetic. Taking in the beauty of her images is like doing meditation. There is also this sense of solitude and tranquillity, like if she is always observing rather than participating, something I can relate to. I’ve always loved observing but disliked being observed or in the centre of attention.

Where is home to you?

Home is as much about where you feel at home and a place you resonate with as much as a geographical area your dwelling is located. Being surrounded my family and friends is to me one of the biggest criterias for a “home”. Therefore for me, home is both London where I live and Kragerø where I grew up.

What do you love most about Norway?

The clean air and water, the access to wild and untouched nature, the general calmness, the high but fair tax which leads to economic and social security for everyone, free education 

Where do you find inspiration?

Often during travels abroad or even just within the country, the shift of energy and change of scenery mixed with new impulses often lead to inspiration. But it could also be strangers on the street who are completely different from myself, films and books, food, nature, music. It can literally be anything but is often related to some sort of change.



We adore your photographs a lot! It seems that you get a lot of inspiration from nature and that nature plays an important role in your life. Where does your fascination for nature come from?

Spending time in nature makes you truly appreciate every aspect of it and to not take it for granted. I was brought up to respect nature, recycle waste and be mindful with the imprint left. I believe this mentality (which is very common in Norway) has made me look at all the tiny details and appreciate the small yet significant everyday moments we might take for granted at times.

I also believe my access to nature, both the wild coast and deep forests, has shaped my photography conceptually as well as visually. The lack of light during winter, the abundance of light during summer, these extremes have definitely made me very aware of lighting and added this touch to my imagery: I love playing and experimenting with existing, natural light.

Lastly I have always been an observer and rather sensitive to my surroundings, hence I also take in a lot of what is happening around me, be that a leaf falling from a tree, the energy in a room or an interesting shadow play appearing for a brief moment.

Is there a dream project that you would like to realise one day?

I’m dreaming of making a photography book one day and combine my passion for the arts and sustainability within this medium!

How do you like to relax?

By swimming in the sea, eat tasty food, spend phoneless time with my boyfriend, family or friends, wander in nature without any particular plans ahead.

Do you have a stress management technique?

Exercising! Probably not the most exciting answer but I have come to realise it is the best way, for me anyway, to get rid of jitters and ease the mind. Hiit, pilates, yoga, boxing – any sort of movement works. Even just a really, really long walk. Endorphines and vitamin D truly helps.

Putting away the phone is also essential in times of stress and anxiety.



Do you follow any health or wellness tips? Would you like to share your favourite ones with us?

Taking vitamin D supplement during winter and B12 all year round (if you are plant based like me), which has in fact made a great difference mentally and physically.

Other than that making sure you’re exposed to fresh air everyday is underrated, regular exercise, daily gua sha and self massage, during the darker months I light candles every single day and last but not least aromatherapy. A hot soak always helps on a gloomy day too.

Additionally, allowing yourself to take time off, do activities you enjoy and eat what you fancy can also be part of good health and wellness, in my opinion.



Do you have a daily beauty routine that you would like to share with us?

Starting off the day with a gua sha massage + cold water or even an ice cube to tighten and wake up the face. Believe me, it makes such a difference, gets rid of all the morning puffiness and the skin feels much firmer afterwards.

Dry brushing is also great!

What’s one beauty product that you can’t live without? RMS Un Cover-Up concealer

Do you care for organic ingredients in skin care and beauty products?

Absolutely, it is one of the main criteria when I look for new products.



What’s your favourite book? Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer

What’s on repeat on your playlist? Everything by Peggy Gou and James Blake.

Your favourite place on earth? 

Ah, that is so hard.. I think I have to list two places:

Portør in Kragerø because that’s where my family has a sea cabin and I’ve spent every summer since I was born there. I have a proper sentimental attachment to that place, but it is also very unique and beautiful. I feel immediately at peace when there.

Sicily in Italy. The food, the people, the lush nature, the history, the architecture – simply priceless.

What’s your favourite place in London and why? 

It must be iconic Barbican Centre - because it offers something rather special. The brutalist building is located in busy City of London and almost works as a sanctuary for tired Londoners. As soon as you enter it feels like a village. The building is constructed like you would construct a fort: the entrance is for instance hard to find and this is done intentionally by the architects. The outer walls act like shields to the buzzing outside life of London and behind them you will encounter complete silence, it is very fascinating how quiet it is in there. The outdoor space is massive and consists of a water fountain pool, plenty of benches and greenery. The building itself is also so beautiful. Inside there is a cinema, conservatory, eateries, a gallery, concert hall, theatre, a library and study areas. On top you can also rent flats within this building. Barbican is the largest of its kind within Europe, a buildings I get endless of inspiration from.

What’s your star sign? Cancer

Favourite Podcast? 

Can’t decide, I love all of these:

  • The High Low by Pandora Sykes and Dolly Alderton (which is sadly finished)
  • The Process Podcast by Danielle Copperman
  • All the small things by Venetia La Manna
  • Reve on Air by Cora Hilts
  • Talk Art by Russel Tovey and Robert Diament
  • The Modern House by Matt Gibberd
  • In Good Company by Otegha Uwagba
  • Fashion no Filter by Camille Cherrier and Monica Ainley


Tea or coffee? Coffee (but I won’t say no to a good cuppa)

Your favourite scent? The scent of the Mediterranean: fresh lavender, rosemary and salty sea

Your favourite camera? Anything analogue will do!

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