The Skaftfell board is pleased to announce Gavin Morrison as the new Director of Skaftfell, Center for Visual Art in East Iceland. Morrison’s tenure will start in early November taking over from Tinna Guðmundsdóttir, who has been Skaftfell’s Director since 2012.
“Skaftfell’s Board is pleased to welcome Gavin Morrison as the Director of Skaftfell. We believe it will be valuable to the organisation to have a person with such extensive knowledge of the art environment. In addition to Gavin´s extensive international experience in the field of curating, Gavin has worked closely with an array of Icelandic artist. At Skaftfel´s twentieth anniversary the board believes that it is important for Skaftfell to strengthen and expand its international relations.” Auður Jörundsdóttir, Chairperson of Skaftfell’s Board
Morrison has a long-standing relationship with Iceland, and Seyðisfjörður in particular. From 2015-2016, he served as Honorary Artistic Director at Skaftfell where he was responsible for the exhibitions Eyborg Guðmundsdóttir & Eygló Harðardóttir; Ingólfur Arnarsson & Þuríður Rós Sigurþórsdóttir; Unoriginal: copying, duplication and plagiarism in art and design; and solo projects by Hanna Kristín Birgisdóttir and Sigurður Atli Sigurðsson, among others. Throughout his career, Morrison has held positions at and collaborated with various institutions around the world including Kungl. Konsthögskolan, Stockholm; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Osaka Contemporary Art Center, Japan; and University of Edinburgh, Scotland. A native of Scotland, for several years, Morrison has resided in the south of France.
“I have long admired the various roles that Skaftfell plays within the life of Seyðisfjörður as a cultural, social and educational hub for the local community and visitors to the area,” says Gavin Morrison. “Its engagement with the complexities of international culture in relation to the specifics of local conditions is a fascinating model. In the role of Director, I plan to continue this tradition and create a dynamic program that grows in international significance but remains rooted in the local context.”
Skaftfell was established in Seyðisfjörður in 1998. It is primarily based in a three-floor traditional wood building in the center of the town that includes the gallery, residency facilities and bistro, in addition Skaftfell also manages Geirahús, the former home of naive artist Ásgeir Jón Emilsson, as well as the sound-sculpture Tvisöngur by German artist Lukas Kühne. The center’s programming spans across contemporary and historical work, with attention to the cultural conditions in which it is made. Skaftfell’s activities take the form of exhibitions and events, alongside a residency and education program. Seyðisfjörður is a port town in the east of Iceland where the ferry from Denmark and the Faroe Islands arrives. The town has a long and varied cultural heritage with many artists, both Icelandic and international, having lived there.
Photo credit: Gunnar Gunnarsson