“The Factory” is an international art and photo exhibition where artists from all around the world get to show their work. The location and surroundings of this gallery have attracted enormous attention and are unique. The artwork will be shown in the old herring factory in Djúpavík.
Agnieszka Sosnowska immigrated to Iceland 12 years ago. She teaches in a small countryside school called Brúarásskóli. The school is comprised of roughly 40 students.
For the past ten years, she has been photographing her students in the remote and rural countryside of East Iceland. The title of this series is A Yearbook.
As a teacher from another country, she has found tolerance, acceptance and caring in this small community of young people.
Immigration has a way of arousing a search for belonging and an image or a story can link one to a place.
Agnieszka is a native of Boston, Massachusetts (USA) and currently lives on a farm in East Iceland. The members of her family are first generation immigrants from Poland and have called the States their home for the past 45 years.
Agnieszka completed a BFA in photography at the Massachusetts College of Art. She is the recipient of both a Fulbright Fellowship and an American Scandinavian Fellowship.
She takes her photographs using a 4×5 Graflex view camera.
Agnieszka Sosnowska – (1971) – America
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Each year, the population of roughly 300,000 inhabitants in Iceland triples with tourists arriving from around the globe seeking breathtaking vistas and itineraries packed with otherworldly tours of lava-fields, glaciers, and waterfalls. This year, an unprecedented seven hundred asylum seekers are expected to arrive in the island nation just south of the Arctic Circle, doubling last year’s count.
The majority end up in Iceland after their intended destination to the United States, Canada, or the UK is denied. A few sheltered in hostels among tourists and the rest isolated, asylum seekers predominately from the Balkans and the Middle East wait months before few are granted residency.
How do asylum seekers experience Iceland in limbo? How do resettled refugees adapt and make a home here? Is this paradise or is this purgatory?
Born in Taipei, Annie is a Canadian documentary photographer and artist based in Brooklyn, New York. Most recently, The National Museum of Iceland held a solo exhibition of her series “Independent Mothers”, now part of the museum’s permanent collection.
Annie’s debut solo exhibition “A Floating Population” in New York City at Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) featured over eighty images spanning four years of work. Her projects have traveled widely to exhibitions and festivals in South Korea, Germany, Hungary, Brazil, Finland, Iceland, Canada, and throughout the USA. Annie is the recipient of the first Skammdegi AIR Award at Listhús in Ólafsfjördur, Iceland, a New York Foundation of the Arts Fellowship, and a Director’s Fellowship from The International Center of Photography.
Annie Ling – (1984) – Taiwan/Canada
Fishing North of the 60th Parallel
Carole lives in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, a Canadian region known for its extreme weather, cold and dark winters and exceptional fishing. After a visit in Djupavik, she saw a link between these two regions of the circumpolar world: the NWT and the Westfjords of Iceland are both isolated and fishing plays a big part in the populations’ lives. Through her exhibit, she wants to show that we have to take great care of our environment and our fish resources if we don’t want our industry to die like it did in Djupavik. Fishing North of the 60th Parallel aims at showing that the fish comes to our plates because of the hard work of local fishermen in adverse weather and at encouraging us to respect our environment and the people who work hard to feed us.
Carole is an amateur self-taught photographer who has been taking photos since her childhood.
She learned techniques while shooting alongside photographers and friends and with time started to develop an eye for details and to pay more attention to framing and technical aspects. She uses a digital camera but has a soft spot for film cameras, especially her medium format camera from the 1950’s. She draws her inspiration from the unique landscapes and environments that surround her and is always chasing the ever changing light of the North.
Carole Musialek – (1977) – French/Canadian
Sylvestris is a painting series based on the plant “Angelica”, or “Hvönn” in Icelandic, which is common and important in Iceland. Wild and rather hard to get rid of, it is known for its tough nature and potency as a medicinal herb and has been cultivated since people first settled in Iceland.
Its stem has traditionally been eaten, and its seeds used for tea.
According to popular belief, it is a good luck charm that can be used to ward off evil foes by spreading it in a clockwise circle.
“When I am walking in the mountains it becomes very clear what I am made of.”
In her work, Clara Bro Uerkvitz highlights the contrast between power and frailty in our natural environment, which brings into question how we experience nature. Clara is drawn to specific sites in Iceland where she observes the environment and translates the experience into her artworks.
Clara studied Performative Art at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. She is currently enrolled in the MA program in Fine Arts in Reykjavik. She is a member of the ecological artist collective Ragnarok Intelligence Project.
In her painting practice, Clara Bro focuses on awareness of materials as ecological and spiritual interests. Her work celebrates the presence of the object as a statement of the importance of beauty from an ecofeminist perspective.
Clara Bro Uerkvitz – (1992) – Denmark
As he laid out his map of Iceland to draw out his route, a tiny speck of land far off the North coast caught Cole’s eye: Grimsey, a 5.3 km piece of wind chapped rock situated in the Arctic Circle with a seasoned population of 86 people. A few days later, he was on the next ferry crossing the blue ocean to Grimsey in minimal light typical of winter’s dark days. He stepped off the ship and got a hold of a woman whom he was told hosted guests. For the next ten days, he stayed in a small cabin, alone, exploring every square inch of the island. He knocked on doors and shook hands on cold days rich with hot coffee in hopes of learning more about these weathered hands and faces, their culture and world far off the beaten path.
He came back almost a year later during the sunny summer months to continue his makings. They would consist of crafting and creating intimate moments of the great people in their homes, reactions to the light and landscape as well as reacting to anything in his gut that was interesting or obscure. He had envisioned creating a body of work that told their story through his feelings, thoughts, and eyes rooted to a special community that was genuine, not self-obsessed, hardworking and truly kind. In Cole’s eyes, this suite of characters makes these people and their fabric unlike any he’s experienced. He thanks the extraordinary people of Grimsey Island: “I hope you never change”.
Cole Barash – (1987) – America
Marker is an experimental series of work influenced by Dan Elborne’s time spent as a resident artist at Listhús Artspace in Ólafsfjörður, Iceland, using vörður (manmade rock stacks), which he found while hiking and climbing. For centuries, these stacks have been used as directional markers for travellers, while simultaneously acting as symbols of individual and collective achievement.
Primarily, the forms are responsive to the natural landscape surrounding Ólafsfjörður, which was completely alien to Elborne.
Marker reflects the balance between an extremely calming and simple period of time against the precarious and harsh conditions created by an unpredictable climate.
Dan Elborne is an Australian ceramic artist who creates ceramic installations and sculptures, which draw from varying points of personal experience and significance. By utilising the fragile and precious nature of ceramics, he addresses sensitive personal and historical events, as well as cultural and political issues within modern society. His work also questions the role of ceramics in contemporary art practice.
Dan Elborne – (1989) – Australia
In February 2016 Emilie Dalum was diagnosed with cancer. The project shows her inner and outer journey throughout her treatment to recover from cancer – in the comfort of the Icelandic nature and contrariwise in the restrictions of her life as a patient.
With her pictures and objects, Emilie wishes to open up about the vulnerability and darkness associated with having cancer. How does a young woman try to understand undiscovered emotions when her life is turned upside down from one day to the other? What are the consequences when someone is forced to pause life and unwillingly surrender to doctors, nurses and medicine?
By illuminating our feelings instead of hiding them, we get to comprehend ourselves and the people around us much better – in any given life crises that may happen to us.
Emilie Dalum is a photographer from Denmark, who has been living in Reykjavik since 2012. She graduated from a 1-year photography programme at Fatamorgana, The Danish School of Art Photography (2014). Furthermore, she holds a B.A in European Ethnology from the University of Copenhagen (2013).
She now studies Design and Innovation at The Technical School, Reykjavík. Besides that, she is the organizer and curator of this exhibition, The Factory.
Emilie Dalum – (1989) – Denmark
Another 3 Days in Djupavik
This year Erhard has decided to show Djupavik once again with his exhibit titled Another 3 Days in Djupavik.
His desire was, and still is, to capture and express moments of astonishment, of pleasure. His concern is to take the spectator away from the reality of our existence and to bring him into this moment – perceiving the ambiances of different kinds of beauty. This is part of life: to pause for a moment, just to enjoy fragments of the surrounding world – maybe only a butterfly in the summer light, or the colours of autumnal foliage or a winter landscape sprinkled with snow like icing sugar. He also expresses his momentary feelings and ways to look at them, in an as wide as possible self-critical spectrum. The intolerance (or is it ignorance?) of fellow human beings pushes him to introduce more pregnant forms of expression in his pictures. He doesn’t want to stop hoping for a better world. His pictures are the mirror of his inner search for the core of real humanity.
Nature is usually the main theme in Erhard – Harry Roth’s paintings. He uses pastel crayons, and sometimes makes collages. Harpa is a big inspiration in his work, as he discovers in this building new perspectives, colours, and more every time he looks at it.
Erhard – Harry Roth – (1955) – Switzerland
Emptiness – Tómið
The purpose of this photographic series is to highlight the aesthetic potential of human achievements in Iceland, sometimes unintended and often unrecognized. Also, the photographer aims at initiating a reflection about the difference in time scale between the inevitable slow degradation of human achievements and the permanency of nature.
Most of the houses shown at The Factory 2017 were once abandoned. There is a part of mystery behind each of them, as they represent an evidence of human life. Why are these families gone? What sagas were played there? The photographer wants viewers to find their own interpretation and to invent their own stories.
Etienne Ketelslegers is a Belgium based passionate photographer. His interest and skills in photography evolved through a fascination with both the natural and urban landscapes, and the desire to communicate about the way he felt about them. His first travel to Iceland in 2010 was a revelation and became the start of a series of visits to work on analogies of forms, colours and materials. His current work about abandoned houses has not only a documentary or a pictorial vocation, but is also an interpretation of the hard living in rural Iceland.
Etienne Ketelslegers – (1970) – Belgium
between the flo/es
between the flo/es is an interactive sound sculpture created in Iceland during a deep winter residency from sounds that were recorded and curated in the small town of Ólafsfjörður, high up on the northern shores. “between the flo/es” is partly a prepared soundscape written in tribute to the town that birthed its sounds, but is also a commentary on the effects of climate change in the northernmost places of our world as part of a larger installation work. The listener enters a delicately adorned space within a space, symbolic of both the fragility of the natural world and the deep reliance the Icelandic people have on their tiny, yet resilient communities.
Gabrielle Cerberville is an American composer, multi-media artist, and pianist. Her Puerto Rican, German, Italian, and Jewish heritages display themselves in her unique ability to inhabit many different perspectives in her music and art. She obtained her BM in composition at Butler University. Her works have been featured in several public forums at home and abroad. She is inspired by the sensual nature of the world around her, and seeks to create art that is both practical and innovative, with an edge of wit and playfulness, searching for the art behind and beyond tonal language.
Gabrielle Cerberville – (1991) – America
Islands are a well-known phenomenon of refuge and escapism. Their birth and decay take the form of cracks and craters. They are burned and re-burned.
The exhibit pieces are made of three different materials from three islands: ochre colour clay was found at a cliff on Ærø.; black clay comes from Ytri-Fagradal in West Iceland (from Hella Steinólfsdóttir); and dark clay/silt is from Usisaat and Arnannguaq Gerstrøm in West Greenland, under the icecap.
Gudrun, a young multidisciplinary designer, has a curious and open mind and likes to observe and analyse movements within society and nature. In her projects, she tries to trigger new thoughts and personal perspectives in a fragmented world’s past, future and realities. Gudrun was born on a southern island in Denmark. She studied art at Testrup Højskole in 2013, and started her bachelor in Industrial Design & Ceramic Form at The Royale Danish Academy of the Arts in 2015. She moved to Reykjavik to finish her BA in Product Design at the Iceland Academy of the Arts in 2017. She is currently based in Iceland, which has been her refuge ever since she set foot on the volcanic island in 2004.
With a background in ceramics, she partly focuses on material experiments, and partly on contextual design.
Gudrun Eriksen Havsteen-Mikkelsen – (1992) – Denmark
Hello, Darkness my old friend
Hourglass is an interactive piece that consists of tailor-made spoons resembling the upper part of an hourglass, with black volcanic sand from Vík and wild sand from Hong Kong which viewers can play around with. Serene tries to express time as an abstract and comparative idea free from numerical indications. Sand from these two places flow at a different gravitational rate due to differences between the grains and humidity conditions. This is a unique measurement of “a spoonful of time” one may experience at different places in the world, in Serene’s case – Iceland and Hong Kong.
Hello, Darkness my old friend responds to her artist-in-residence stay in Ólafsfjördur, Iceland – where there are no nights in summer; yet mystically sand from the beaches is as black and glistening as a starry night. The artist book is a record of how Serene made a connection between the two and turned the concept into visual representation.
Serene’s physical connection to the surroundings is integral to her art-making. Working with mainly conceptual installations and paintings (Chinese ink paintings & illustrations), her works are a reflection process about space, time and perspective. She explores the odd in the ordinary, articulates and transforms it into spaces, moods, perceptions and other personal experiences.
Hui Serene Sze-Lok – (1992) – Hong Kong
John Rogers is an artist, writer and journalist based in Reykjavík, Iceland. His work often blurs the line between text and image; art and literature; autobiography, conversation, memory and fantasy.
His first book, “Real Life”, was published in 2015, and charts, amongst other things, his move from London to Reykjavík, including passages of granular realist writing, impressionistic poetry, and expansive surrealism.
Since then, John has created installation, text and sound works at LungA Festival in Seyðisfjörður, SAGA Festival in Stokkseyri, SIM Gallery, and the PØST Kamikaze group exhibition in Reykjavík. He regularly publishes new and developmental works online, and is currently working on a second book entitled “everythingness”.
John’s work for The Factory exhibition will be created directly before the show, based on direct experience of the environment of Djúpavík.
John Rogers – (1977) – UK
E-book download page: gumroad.com/jhnbrnlv
Basalt – Lino cut print on paper. Iceland I – Book of prints. ‘Basalt II’ – Photo etching on paper.
Studies of Microliths and Puffins – Etchings on paper. Floating – Lithograph on paper. Megaliths – Screenprint on paper.
Julia McKinlay spent two months in Iceland in 2015 after being awarded the Boise Travel Scholarship following her MFA studies in Sculpture at the Slade School of Fine Art. Julia travelled around the South and West Coastlines before participating in a Research Residency at Skaftfell in Seyðisfjörður and then a month residency at Listhus in Ólafsfjörður. She makes work in relation to her interest in natural history, landscape and exploration. While in Iceland Julia was able to explore many different extraordinary landscapes: basalt rock formations, tectonic rifts, glaciers and the edge of the Arctic Circle; these experiences have been influencing her work since.
Julia McKinlay’s practice is process based and moves between sculpture, installation, drawing and printmaking. Much of the work develops from research trips to unusual environments and museum collections. Through experimenting with materials and processes Julia makes abstracted versions of places she has explored. Julia is interested in how objects and images can be displayed together in groups or collections to represent part fictional environments for the viewer to explore.
Julia McKinlay – (1986) – UK
Kira Kira is a composer and a filmmaker from Iceland.
ALTARI is created around a photograph from a location scouting adventure for Kira
Kira’s first feature fiction as writer and director -A film set to happen largely in
Strandir. The film is a portrait of the creative spark drawn through 4 artists based in
Iceland and Los Angeles, charismatic powerhouses who share uncommon
zealousness in their creativity which more often than not tornados into gorgeous
chaos that overtakes their lives completely. They are all having a tragic/comic go at
balancing being an artist and a human being, pushing and playing that tender line
between madness and healthy creative zest to all kinds of heartbreaking and
The film has a life that goes beyond itself. ALTARI is part of that, a spontaneous
moment of creativity linked to a much bigger world.
Kira Kira – (1977) – Iceland
This series expresses the density of atmosphere felt in Northern Iceland.
The topography of this region, combined with the weather conditions, often blurred the
horizon line, where mountains breathe with fog, dance with sea, rest with snow, play with
wind, letting us observe the moving distance between earth and sky.
It is through analog photography that Marika Drolet-Ferguson explores how the land that
surrounds us also comes to inhabit us. This series began in the fall of 2015, while living
in Ólafsfjörður as part of the artist in residence program Listhùs. She is from the Acadian
Peninsula, in Eastern Canada.
Marika Drolet-Ferguson – (1989) – Canada
Impressions of Iceland
The prints displayed here are the results of Mary Walters’ experiences in Iceland on two residencies over the past few years: one at Olafsfjordur (http://www.listhus.com) in 2014, and the other at Skagastrond (http://neslist.is) in 2016. It was during these times that the sheer grandeur of the local landscapes made their impression on her work – and she responds to their energy in screen print and monotype.
Mary Walters is an Edinburgh-based visual artist, mainly working in print and mixed media. Her past career has been in teaching and in community arts, but she is now focussing solely on her personal art practice. She tries to let the ideas she wishes to express define the medium in which she works for each project.
Her key inspiration comes from wild landscapes – their geology and geomorphology – a result of her earlier study of these disciplines. Iceland is one of the places on our planet where the processes of land formation and erosion can be visibly witnessed, and where the enormity of these processes can begin to be understood.
Mary Walters – (1945) – Scotland
If it were up to town planners, project developers, local politicians and investors, not one single square centimeter of urban environments would be left untouched.
Keeping an order in which every atom must remain in the exact spot to which it was allocated requires an inordinately large energy expenditure. Every system heads towards a state of low energy or high entropy, as dictated by the laws of nature and thermodynamics.
Cities are one such system. In Berlin, Nanette has observed the steady march to this natural state for the nearly 25 years that she has lived there. While she has documented falling walls and decaying buildings, she most importantly has captured plants, animals, and even humans conquering free spaces and creating small oasis in the thoroughly designed monotony that is a city. In analysing these processes with a science background and a deeply felt sympathy, she offers the viewer a way to participate in the passing of this supposed perfection.
Travelling throughout Iceland has opened her eyes to rural decay and the beauty of natural processes beyond the well-known picturesque scenery depicted on your average postcard. Abandoned radar stations or goods cast aside, as well as remains of formerly colossal or otherwise perfect objects, be they a glacier or a seagull, appear in every shade of black and white.
Prokura Nepp a.k.a. Nanette – (1969) – Germany
Lost places and abandonements: www.flickr.com/kraetze
Nature, politics & events: www.flickr.com/prokura
Djupavik fish soup project – an on going collaborative fish soup
60 years after the closing down of the herring factory, you’re invited to prepare and eat fish soup in a space dedicated to processing fish.
Every Friday between June 1st and August 31st at 12:30, you are invited to a collaborative cooking session of fish soup – and of course to eat it together.
The base of every soup will be a (preserved) fish stock made on the first day of the exhibition.
Every group will get fresh fish and ingredients after signing in on the selected date.
A portion of every soup of the week will be frozen until the end of the exhibition. At the closing event, it will be possible to taste very small amounts of each weekly soup, and of course a fresh fish soup will be served.
Get more details and register for a session on fishsoup.is
Rahel Erny works across different disciplines and has degrees in architecture, art and social topics. In her work, she seeks collaboration with people within space and time and questions about it.
One of her main focuses is cooking and eating together as fundamental cultural techniques: she is part of the artist collective cookwith.org
In 1992, Rahel traveled to Iceland for the first time and fell in love with this treasure. Djupavik is a very special place to her. The herring factory, its surroundings and its heritage offer the perfect scene for her Djupavik fish soup project.
Rahel Erny – (1972) – Switzerland
Artist collective: cookwith.org
There is something about handicrafts that takes hold of me and finds its way into my ideas and artwork. I like slow processes; therefore crocheting and sewing by hand come to me naturally and I find it interesting to see how this material, which is so deeply rooted in the culture of women, can change form and how the thread can expand.
Since I graduated from the Academy of the Arts I have every now and then put up large textile installations with crocheted and knitted fabrics stretching out in the exhibition spaces. For this installation, Vortex, I was joined by a group of women who, since August 2014, have crocheted and knitted according to prescribed rules on forms and colours.
Here in the old herring factory you can see Vortex in a new context and the pieces might remind the viewers of herring nets. Vortex was among 19 artworks from all over the world shortlisted for the Ulster Bank prize in Ireland in 2016.
Rósa Sigrún Jónsdóttir graduated from the Teaching University of Iceland in 1987 and from the Iceland Academy of the Arts in 2001. She has held many solo exhibitions in Iceland and abroad and participated in a multitude of group exhibitions. Rósa served as chair of the Reykjavík Association of Sculptors for four years, in addition to being the Association of Iceland Visual Artist´s ( SÍM ) representative on the Public Buildings Art Fund.
Rósa Sigrún Jónsdóttir – (1962) – Iceland
Małgorzata ‘Maga’ Jarosik
Drullubolti, or Mud Football, is a 12 player football match (6 against 6) which is played in mud. In 2016, there was a match outside of Djupavik (on Melar farm) and both Maga and Tihana participated as members of the Hotel Djupavik staff team.
Apart from actively playing, they recorded the event photographically, Maga on film and Tihana in the digital form. “We chose to show this series because this mud event completely wowed us! It was truly a very Icelandic moment for us. It all fitted in so perfectly: the game, the mud, the surrounding scenery, the people…. It felt like witnessing a complete unification of man and nature- the survival of the fittest in the mud jungle was happening right before our eyes.”
Tihana has developed a love for photography at an early age, practically growing up in a dark room her father had set up in their family home. She often jokes that playing with chemicals as a child was perhaps not the best idea, but then again, all of that shaped her into who she is today. She uses photography merely as a mean of preserving memory. Sometimes she is involved in setting up fake sceneries which aims at creating false memories, telling non-existent stories and serving as a gateway to another, more surrealist world.
Tihana is passionate about old analogue cameras and film photography.
Maga has been interested in analogue photography since she got her father’s old Zenith camera. She prefers film to digital and capturing moments rather than creating scenes. She finds inspiration in contrasts: nature/man, north/south, presence/absence. In her photographs she tries to present interdependence between nature and human feelings. She carries her camera everywhere she goes on her numerous trips. This year will mark her third summer in Iceland and second in Djúpavík. She runs a photoblog:
Tihana Frankovic Kralj – (1981) – Croatia
Małgorzata ‘Maga’ Jarosik – (1989) – Poland