Who would have thought that Iceland is one of the most creative nations in the world? One can travel the island from festival to festival: design, visual art, film and documentaries, literature, music, performing art…there’s space for everything, it’s time to let your imagination free! This is the turn of art and design.
For 10 days, Seyðisfjörður, a town in the Eastfjords, becomes a refuge of weird art and expression. Different workshops and routines hold for 10 days, which end with a final presentation of the art and music that the participants have created. Welcome to the LungA festival, great example of art and creativity in Iceland, of course foreigners are more than welcome and many of the workshops are in English.
This year, they sold out. For more freedom of expression in the countryside, one must go to Húsavík, where the Jónsvika – Art residency and Festival takes place in June. This is a reunion for young emerging visual artists. Æringur is an annual art exhibition based in a different place in Iceland each year, the idea is to bring art to the countryside and at the same time bring more people to it as well. The artists are heavily inspired by the place the exhibition is held in when doing their art. Last, but not least, the heavy metal festival Eistnaflug, celebrated in Neskaupstaður, East of Iceland for a weekend every year in July. If you are interested and want to learn more about these festivals, the documentary Verið, by Dóra Hrund Gísladóttir is highly recommended.
If the countryside offers some good artistic reunions, Reykjavík could not be less. Every year at the end of May, the capital celebrates the Reykjavík Arts Festival. This one has a special focus on new commissions and the creative intersection of the arts. For two weeks, the festival presents to the widest possible audience, exhibition and performances of contemporary and classical works in major cultural venues and unconventional spaces throughout the city. Another very popular one is DesignMarch, Iceland’s most important annual design festival, with an expected 100 or so events that transform the capital into one big venue for design. From fashion to furniture, architecture to food design, the festival showcases the best of the local design scene alongside exciting international names, opening with DesignTalks, a day of lectures by internationally acclaimed designers and the foremost local design thinkers. More and better: Sequences. This is an independent biennial, established in Reykjavík in 2006. The aim of the ten-day festival is to produce and present progressive visual art with special focus on time-based mediums, such as performance, sonic works, video and public interventions. It is the first art festival in Iceland to focus on visual art alone. New artistic directors are hired to reshape each edition of Sequences according to their vision, making it unique and different every time.
No more doubts that Iceland has room from art, especially when it comes from young people with ideas looking forward to expressing and publishing them. Now, it’s your turn to take advantage of it and let art flow!
This article was written by Celia Haro Ruiz for Eurodesk Iceland