Birds of passage 1998-2018 – assembly

May 19 - June 3, 2018.

An artist residency “is an outcome of time, place and people and it offers an opportunity for enduring relationships and a profound communion with both art and one’s own thoughts.“(Re-Tooling Residencies, intro)

20 years of Skaftfell’s artist-in-residency program have resulted in 250 artists coming to Seyðisfjörður and to East Iceland. Some have left a physical trace behind, or a trace in someone’s memory. Some have returned many times, and some have stayed for good.

We want to look back at the development of this program, watching it expand from being an occasional, informal guest studio on Skaftfell’s third floor to being a busy all-year-round program hosting up to six artists at a time in three to four residency houses throughout the town. A good handful of people have worked with and for the residency artists, they have been their hosts, their first audience, their main contact persons in an unfamiliar place.

In May 2018, just before opening Skaftfell’s anniversary exhibition, we want to bring these colleagues and partners together in a symposium, and invite them to share their thoughts and experiences about the history of the Skaftfell residency program.We would like to hear through their stories what the presence of all these artists has meant to them individually and to the local context. We also want to inform a wider audience about what the program is currently doing, where we plan to go with it, and why we think it is regionally and locally important to continue to support and develop the Skaftfell residency program with its international outlook, and to host artists from all corners of the world in Seyðisfjörður

Simultaneously a short-term exhibition will be presented in the gallery, showing:

  • a visual journey down memory lane, remembering the Bookshop Projectspace (from the Skaftfell Archive)
  • a presentation of artistic research in process, by current artists-in-residency
  • an installation of invited responses/greetings from the past by postcard,from as many former participants of the residency program