Working on a collaborative piece always has unexpected results, and this is certainly the case with the piece done with Elva and Soffia for our show, Við sjónarrönd/Above and Below the Horizon in Keflavik. In a collaboration, each artist has to give up ownership and allow the work to exist in a shared space. It is a very freeing experience for me and one that can develop into new work for me after.
We took as our starting point, maps of the ocean floor created by Marie Tharp, an American geologist and oceanographic cartographer who, in partnership with Bruce Heezen, created the first scientific map of the entire ocean floor in the 1950s. Tharp's work revealed the presence of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, causing a paradigm shift in earth science that led to acceptance of the theories of plate tectonics and continental drift. Coincidentally, Soffia and I had both been inspired by these topographical maps and decided to work collaboratively on this underwater landscape that separates and connects our two countries. The Atlantic ridge which indicates the fissure between the North American and the Eurasian plates rises out of the water to create Iceland.
HOW WE WORKED:
I scanned and downloaded images of the ocean floor, altered them in Photoshop, and printed a selection of 11 x 17 inch rectangles on Hahnemuhle German Etching Inkjet paper. In May of 2016, I brought 20+ images to Reykjavik and the three of us poured over them to choose those we wanted to modify. Back home, I reproduced the chosen images and sent them to my friends in Iceland. The idea was that each of us would have a hand in the creation. Soffia and Elva then added elements on the digital prints using etching o rcollography. Soffia brought their modified images to New York to see what I thought. I photographed them and then added another layer with text, equations and drawing. Each rectangle has the hand of at least two of us. Sjónarrendur/The Horizon, presented a grid of 15 of our images chosen by our curator, Inga Thorey. It received attention in an article about the exhibit printed in a national newspaper the day of our opening. In an interview for the article, Soffia expressed our desire to continue with this project. A review of the exhibit mentions that this brings together the themes and concerns that the three artists share.
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