Today is officially the last day of DesignMarch and for me personally, this has been the most fun and inspiring DesignMarch so far, by far. Design in Iceland is a relatively young "industry" and we are perhaps not quite "there" yet, compared with our fellow Nordic countries like Denmark, Sweden and Finland which all have a strong and solid design heritage, recognized the world over. Having said that, a lot of what I saw from Icelandic designers this DesignMarch, is both beautifully designed AND made, truly deserving of being introduced to the rest of the world.
However, before I start to bombard you with my personal favorites of Icelandic design, I want to share with you two events of foreign origins which I enjoyed very much, but for very different reasons. Both these events are part of the DesignMarch 2013 programme.
Yesterday afternoon I visited a photographic exhibition which absolutely blew me away. When I left, my first thought was, I have to come back! Held in the basement of The Nordic House, designed by Alvar Aalto and opened in 1968, this exhibition was not something I would have thought would work with Aalto´s organic, modernist style of architecture. Being taken by surprise can be such an important and yet often overlooked part in making an object or an experience unforgettable, and a surprise the exhibition certainly was, for me and the two people with me there yesterday. The space where the exhibition was held had been dramatically transformed into something that you were far from expecting to see in a place like The Nordic House, yet so incredibly complimenting to the striking and dramatic ambiance reflected in each and every image hanging on the walls.
The Long Moment is an exhibition were Sarah Cooper and Nina Gorfer beautifully blurr the lines between photography and painting in photographs, shot in Iceland and countries as far away as Quatar and Kyrgyzstan. A lot of work goes into both pre- and post production where the images are digitally processed to create collages which you are sometimes not sure whether to categorize as photographs or paintings. The results are, to me at least, breathtakingly beautiful.