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Gardening of Soul: In Five Chapters, 2022-2024

Skaftfell participates in the international project Gardening of Soul: In Five Chapters, led by the Faculty of Art and Design at Jan Evangelista Purkyne University and House of Arts, Ústi nad Labem, Czech Republic. The 3-year project is funded by the EEA Iceland Liechtenstein Norway Grants from 2022 to 2024.

Our project partners include four non-profit organisations working with community building art practices in the Czech Republic:

Dobrovolnické centrum (The Volunteer Center in Ústi nad Labem); Domov Velké Březno (The Velké Březno Care Home, Ústi nad Labem); Člověk v tísni (People in Need); Základní umělecká škola, Most (The Elementary School of Art, City of Most)
as well as nine other art organizations from across the world:

<rotor> center for contemporary art, Graz, Austria; Museum of Fine Arts, Split, Croatia; Kharkiv Municipal Gallery, Ukraine; Dowd Gallery, SUNY Cortland, USA; Schafhof – European Center for Art, Freising, Germany; The Trinity Session, Johannesburg, South Africa; Kunst Meran Merano Arte, Merano, Italy; PRECEDEE, Hong Kong.

Gardening of Soul: In Five Chapters explores the agency of public artworks that engage in community building and place making. The project is particularly interested in the interactive and artistic processes bringing these artworks to life, which could be seen as forms of gardening – involving caretaking, listening, placing, growing, activating, maintaining. Outcomes of the project will include two exhibitions at House of Arts, a series of artist residencies and art commissions, a conference and a publication. Skaftfell will welcome two residency artists from Czech Republic in 2022 and 2023 and will select one Iceland-based artist who will join the residency program at House of Arts, creating a public artwork in the context of the project.

Recent project activities:

October 2022: Curator Adéla Machová and artist Jan Krtička visit Skaftfell as representatives of the Jan Evangelista Purkyne University. Collectively we worked on Skaftfell’s contributions to the project’s first exhibition in House of Arts in December 2022, and on artist residencies and art commissions planned in the context of the project.

October/November 2022: Jan Krtička joins the Skaftfell residency program as artist in residence, developing his research on a new sound based artwork with recordings from Iceland.

November 9, 2022: Artist talk by Jan Krtička at Skaftfell

December 5-9, 2022: Visit of Skaftfell’s project manager to Ústi nad Labem. Work meeting with the other project partners and opening of the first exhibition on December 7.

Dec 7, 2022 – Feb 2023: Exhibition at House of Arts “Gardening of Soul: An Introduction”. Skaftfell participates with two installations, one documenting the interactive sound sculpture Tvísöngur by Lukas Kühne (2012), including photographs by Guðmundur Oddur Magnúson (Goddur), a visual simulation by Oliver McIntyre, a text by Lukas Kühne and a sound piece by Jan Krtička, recorded within Tvísöngur in collaboration with the musicians Joanna Skowronska and Rafal Kolacki. The second installation presents a book documenting the first ten years of the participatory art project Hafnargarður Community Garden in Seyðisfjörður (2012 – ongoing). Images can be found here.

More about Gardening of Soul can be found on the project’s website (in process): http://www.gardeningofsoul.com