Artists from the United States, Greece, Belgium, Venezuela, and Norway took part in the May 2017 group residency. Their projects included painting and drawing, photography, writing, and film - much of it incorporating local life and nature directly into the pieces they created during the residency. Many went on to exhibit their projects in their home countries. A selection of their work is below, as well as links for more information about the artists and their exhibitions:
Chris came to the residency with the intention to to look at the connections between the landscape and the village itself, with the underlying idea that landscape had developed myths that structure how the social life of the village still is, even though these myths have been made for a different era. He decided on making a series of images that appear as a fragmented narrative of a place, that would hopefully inspire the viewer to make their own connections and then start to think of new stories of how the village works. He connected with the challenges faced by villages where it can be difficult for locals to adapt to rapid change, but where change is necessary to keep the social life of the village vibrant. As he explains, "It’s not just a problem for Thingeyri, but has become a universal one, as we see especially politically with very strong votes for conservative leaders all over the western world." To complete his project, he wandered the nearby areas to photograph nature, with emphasis on doing it at night, and in the fog, to experience the mystique that early settlers might have experienced. But, Chris notes, "it’s only my own representation of it, and not theirs, so it’s impossible to know. I also spent time socializing with the inhabitants, in order to get to know people, to become at ease with them and make empathic portraits of them, and their village. I hope I did it in a way that they might look at my image with pride and not feeling like I’ve exploited them and where they live. All in all, as a way to start a conversation on maybe we should start to make new myths, that fit the time we live in."
Dionysis is a Greek visual artist based in London. Working with photography and performance, his work explores the relationship we have with our own image and with the space around us. During the Westfjords Residency, Dionysis developed Icelandic Diaries, a series of self portraits that explore his relationship with an unfamiliar landscape focusing on ideas of isolation, displacement and resistance. The mountains surrounding Thingeyri offered the perfect setting for an introspective and some times eerie set of portraits.
Learn more about his project here: http://artcantchangetheworld.com/icelandic-diaries
Gaëlle is a filmmaker from Brussels, Belgium. Opening, the video she made, reflects her feelings during her stay in Thingeyri. In the 10 days of the residency, every season took place-- from very long, sunny, warm days to roads blocked with snow and storm. The images keep very close to Nature, like a mirror of ourselves between movement and immobility, fullness and nothingness. The opening of a very long day of May in a Northern village of Iceland... like the opening of the World billions of years ago. Opening captures the light, the air, the movements of the sun, the emerging waters and landscapes and overall the sounds — of the wood, the birds, the sea...
Watch the video here: https://vimeo.com/gaellecourtois/opening
Gala Bent is a drawing painter and a writing sculptor. While at the Westfjords residency she re-read a book called Stone: An Ecology of the Inhuman by Jeffrey Jerome Cohen, which devotes a chapter to the specific geology of Iceland, and used the ideas there as inspiration for a new set of drawings. The work of the residency was displayed as a "study table" of drawings, books and objects that told a story of intimate and quiet study of patterns, collections and ideas. The themes that prevail there are about the visible and invisible forces of geological organization that can sometimes defy easy categorization. One can find visual evidence of magnetism, folding and the redistribution of silt in these drawings that obsess over geology, but those same forms echo biology, psychology, language and domestic patterning in a personal mixture of symbols.
Much of this work is on display at G.Gibson Gallery in Seattle, WA from December 2017 to January 2018 in a solo show called Particle Playlist (http://www.ggibsongallery.com/gala-bent-particle-playlist/)