Afield – Diane Borsato, Geoffrey Hendricks, Þorgerður Ólafsdóttir

June 04 – September 04, 2022, Skaftfell gallery

Opening on June 04 from 16-18:00. Light refreshments will be available.

A guided tour with artist Þorgerður Ólafsdóttir and curator Becky Forsythe will be held on Sunday June 5th at 11 am.

Opening times: Tue- Sat 12-18:00, Sun 12-17:00, Mon closed.


Afield assembles contemporary artworks and objects from natural history and archaeological collections that center themes and references to the sky, geology, land exploration and extraction. The exhibition digs into the human relationship with the environment, and through fieldwork, performance and research, traces our current position in the anthropocene. From gems, stones and minerals to material remnants like plastic, it attempts to unearth the complex processes between human, nature and land as ever changing sequences.

Afield could mean something at a distance, away, or not familiar, beyond the range of our experience. In a constellation of hand-painted and gathered skies, collected minerals, performed stories and plastic remains pulled from the soil, the works counter to decay and become catalysts for memory, passage and suspension in geologic time. Sometimes inspired by the human desire to collect, and in turn change, the natural, non-human world, the works ask: how can the ritual of heading out into the environment, newly navigating our relationship to it, nourish and allow for new collective claims to emerge?

Participating artists: Diane Borsato, Geoffrey Hendricks and Þorgerður Ólafsdóttir. The exhibition includes minerals collected by Nicoline Weywadt and excavated plastic objects from the archeological site at the farm Fjörð in Seyðisfjörður, dug up during the summer of 2020 and 2021.

Curated by Becky Forsythe.


Diane Borsato (b. 1973) is a Canadian visual artist whose work explores pedagogical practices and experiential ways of knowing through performance, intervention, video, installation, and photography. Her multidisciplinary and socially engaged works are often created through the mobilization of distinct groups of people including arts professionals, artists, dancers and naturalists. She was awarded the Victor Martyn-Lynch Staunton Award from the Canada Council for the Arts, and was twice nominated for the Sobey Art Award. Borsato has exhibited widely, including at the Art Gallery of Ontario, The Power Plant, the Walter Philips Gallery at the Banff Centre for the Arts, the Toronto Biennial of Art and in galleries and museums internationally. She was recently the Artist in Residence at the AGO and has co-led residencies at the Banff Centre including the Art of Stillness and the OUTDOOR SCHOOL. As Associate Professor at the University in Guelph, she teaches advanced courses in Experimental Studio – that explore the relationships between art and everyday life – including Food and Art, Special Topics on Walking, Live Art, and OUTDOOR SCHOOL. Her work can be seen at:

Geoffrey Hendricks (1931 – 2018) was an American artist who was associated with Fluxus since the mid 1960s, participated in Fluxus festivals worldwide and exhibited internationally. In 1965 Hendricks began incorporating sky imagery into his works, Hendricks painted sky on canvases, boots, laundry, ladders, cars, guns, and stairwells, among other everyday objects in installations and performances. He was professor emeritus of art at Rutgers University, where he taught from 1956 to 2003 and was renowned by students for his skill in preparing macrobioticmeals. He maintained studios and residences in New York City and a farm in Colindale, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, along with his partner and sometimes collaborator Sur Rodney. Works by Geoffrey Hendricks can be found in collections around the world.

Þorgerður Ólafsdóttir (b. 1985) is a visual artist based in Reykjavík. Her practice considers various objects and phenomena connected to understanding and relating to the natural world as it overlaps and is interpreted in human environments. Þorgerður is part of the research project Relics of Nature, an Archaeology of Natural Heritage in the High North, which aims to explore understandings and manifestations of natural heritage, with special focus on the High North and in the context of climate change. Her recent work centers around different manifestations of the Anthropocene and human vs. geological time. From 2014-2018 she was the director of The Living Art Museum and has sat on various boards including Sequences Real Time Festival and the Reykjavík Arts Festival. She is co-founder of Staðir / Places, a biannual exhibition project and mobile residency in the Westfjords of Iceland. Her work can be seen at:

Acknowledgements: Ármann Guðmundsson, Kristján Jónasson, Myndlistarsjóður, Múlaþing, Menningar- og viðskiptaráðuneytið, Náttúrufræðistofnun Íslands, Nýlistasafnið, Ragnheiður Traustadóttir, Rannveig Þórhallsdóttir, Safnasjóður, Síldarvinnslan, Tækniminjasafn Austurlands, Unnur Sveinsdóttir, Uppbyggingarsjóður Austurlands, Þjóðminjasafnið, Þorsteinn Þorsteinsson, Vigfús Birgisson

Photo: Snædís Sunna Thorlacius. Button (with four-leaf clover), 1900-1903, found by Þóra Margrét Hallgrímsdóttir, Fjörður, Seyðisfjörður. Courtesy of Ragnheiður Traustadóttir and Antikva.