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Photographer and Founder of Benk + Bo

16/ Hang With Mariell Lind Hansen

For our second edition of Hang With, we step inside the wonderfully curated, mid-century home of Mariell Lind Hansen. Mariell is a great friend of Georgia and Partnership Editions as she runs the creative open workspace Benk + Bo where we hosted our very first exhibition with Alexandria Coe in 2018 and where Georgia held a residency from 2018-2019. Benk + Bo is unlike anywhere in London - Mariell describes it as “a free-space, a space to feel calm and somewhat playful. A space with no rules and a space that can be turned into whatever they need it to be. A place where you can equally fail and succeed, as both are necessary for a sustainable learning curve."

Mariell has one of the most exceptional eyes we've come across. Anyone who came to Benk + Bo wanted to move in as it struck the perfect balance of being artfully designed with modernist and mid-century items, that Mariell had lovingly sourced from eBay, but whilst still feeling totally homely and warm - overflowing with tropical plants and the room filled with the smell of fresh bakes and specialist coffee. Mariell is a true creative, wearing many hats from founder to photographer to artisan, and what is clear is that her aesthetic is totally her own and she puts her magic touch on everything she does.


I live in... Whitechapel in a listed period mansion block from the 1920s.
Since I moved to London from my homeland Norway in 2009 I have been living up and down the stretch from the Thames to Hackney. I have always lived with friends, but this spring I decided it was time to take the step towards life as, dare I say it, a grown-up - living alone!

When looking for a suitable flat I was looking for characteristics that reminded me of Scandinavia; solid wooden flooring and large windows. I love period properties and I was set on finding something that had a bit of character.

I have always been a homebody and, having quite a hectic life, it is important for me that my home offers a warm, relaxing, and inspiring atmosphere. I have been in this flat for nearly 4 months now and I feel like it's very much a work in progress still, as I haven't been able to spend enough time here to feel out each of the rooms. On some walls I have placed empty canvases to start feeling out how and where I would like artworks to go.


                         Artwork by Jonathan Schofield

During the first lockdown I was still in my old place together with a dear friend and her boyfriend. It was an incredibly large and light filled post modern building which was really way too big for us. This made lockdown 1.0 quite okay.. as okay as it could be, considering. We lived directly on Shadwell Basin so at times it didn’t even feel like we were in London. 

The first lockdown was, work-wise, pretty tough though as I had no work on for three months and economically I started getting pretty stressed. The unknown future for Benk + Bo was obviously also not adding anything good to the feeling of being lost and completely out of control with my own present and future.
I remember at some point towards the end of the lockdown I actually thought I had to pack up my bags and move back home to Norway.


                    Artwork by Rose Electra Harris

Lockdown 2.0 is a whole different story for me. I am now living alone in a flat which I have somewhat lockdown-proofed, if that's a thing. I have a guest bedroom that I have turned into a little DIY den kitted out with my sewing machines, jigsaw, fabrics, canvases of various sizes, paints, pastels, chisels, and whatever else I’ve gathered in my toolbox through my decade in London.

The days that I’m not shooting I spend at Benk + Bo, which means I’m fairly social most of the time in my work. When I need to focus I actually work best from home, as I find it easier to zone into whatever mode I need to be in. At Benk + Bo, there is always someone to chat with, some toilets to clean, or some cake to eat!


Mariell's first life drawing attempt framed. Home landscape by Mariell.

My first art purchase was... Richard Hart’s Sun through Partnership Editions. At least this is the first artwork I decided to spend more than what I had previously spent on art. Since I was about 13, I have picked up art and random artefacts from charity shops and flea markets or attempted making art myself. As much as I would like to be a minimalist, I do need to have things, that bring memories or stir emotions, hanging on my walls to feel at home.


                          Sun by Richard Hart

If I could hang any artwork in my collection it would be... A very tricky question. I might as well choose one that is way out of reach for me but something I know I would treasure wherever I was in the world. “Vintermorgen i Svolvær” by Gunnar Berg. Painted in Paris in 1887. Berg also lived abroad and spent most of his time dreaming of the landscapes of the Arctics. I would feel comfort in having one of his paintings thinking about all the time he put into his delicate works on a landscape that I am so familiar with, all painted far away from home.


                “Vintermorgen i Svolvær” by Gunnar Berg

My prized possession is... I try my best to only bring things into my home that are of value to me, so I feel fairly attached to quite a lot of my possessions. A lot of the pieces I consider art in my home are things I've been gifted by friends or pieces of nature that I have brought back home after specific trips. I suppose they work as a memory book for me. One item I treasure in my home is a cross-stitch wool cushion that my Grandmother made in the 50s which has traveled through history with my Dad and is now with me in London. I never brought it with me this far in life on purpose, it just always seems to find its way with me, and now it's just become a staple wherever I move to next. In a way, it represents my love for family history and handcraft as well as the colour palette being pretty on point!


Cushion by Mariell's grandmother.

When decorating my home I like to buy from... Not a surprise to anyone who knows me; eBay!

My hacks for a happy home are... spending undisrupted time alone at home, sitting down, and actually just feeling out the space before cluttering it with all sorts that you have seen in the latest interior magazines. Don’t rush into getting things just because you need to get a table or chair or whatever else. Make sure that what you furnish your home with is something you have wanted for a while and something that will last for a long time. Spend a little time figuring out what you can add or remove to make your daily rituals more enjoyable.


Skull from a beach in Iceland. Pencil drawing by a friend as Christmas gift.

I spend most of my time at home doing ... my way too many hobbies! I haven't had a TV for over a decade and I mostly watch movies at the cinema, which means my time at home is very analog. I might sound like a caricature of myself saying this, but I probably would be juggling sewing a dress, painting a disastrous painting, upholstering a chair, making a table, and listening to a podcast all at the same time. My DIY den is really coming to life!


DIY den and bathometric map. Making a new table with a chessboard.

I’ve currently got my eye on ... The pastel yellow Moccamaster filter coffee machine. This machine was a staple growing up in Norway, and now it's fresh and trendy and I'm feeling nostalgic about it... as well as the fact that I drink a pint of filter coffee every day, so I've got a feeling it could come in handy. Sometimes I just wish I could just pop over to my parents' house for the evening. 


                  Skull and picture of great grandparents.

My ideal weekend is spent... getting an equal portion of nature, architecture, friends, carbs, and time to reflect.


Green jar from roadtrip to Virginia and vase from skandihus.

Currently reading... People like us by Hashi Muhammed.


Rockshell given by a friend at the beach in NZ. Samii Mittens native Norwegian.

Currently listening to... The Knife by The Knife from 2001.


   From Atelier A Journals first exhibition at Benk + Bo 

Currently cooking... Extra cheesy cheese toasties à la Sager + Wilde.



Mariell 's curation

  • Above Sold
    Above | David Hardy | Original Artwork | Partnership Editions

    This reminds me of a winters day back in Norway.

    David Hardy
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  • Bodies of Water Sold
    Bodies of Water | Cecilia Reeve | Original Artwork | Partnership Editions

    It is something very intimate about this artwork I like. It also brings back memories of trying to swim in the ocean in the summer back home in the Arctics, and we only really just made it as far as to water reaching our knees.

    Cecilia Reeve
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  • Swimmer at the Conservatory Sold
    Swimmer at the Conservatory

    It somehow manages to transport me into a scene which feels like a mix of a Studio Ghibli movie and a forever lasting dream.

    Cecilia Reeve
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