Stitches and Threads

James Merry, Nike / Jöklasóley, 2015.

Stitches and Threads



Stitches and Threads is an exhibition of works by contemporary Icelandic artists who embroider or make use of the needle and thread as a tool in their art. They either look to the past to work with the heritage of the craftsmanship and its tradition, or employ the needle as a tool in progressive experiments with other media. The exhibition includes new and recent works by a varied group of artists, both representatives of the younger generation, and artists who have made their mark on the Icelandic art scene.

What they all share is that they have lovingly taken to the needle as an important tool in their artistic practices. The works reflect a vast range of subject matter, as they confront social issues alongside the poetic of everyday life and tenderness of nostalgia.

The sewing needle has long been a popular tool for art creation and decoration. Mainly by the hands of women who have sought to maintain traditional craft, along with the urge to develop new and creative ways to work with needle and thread. Embroidery, alongside carving, were by far the most common media for artists in Iceland during the 20th Century. Temporarily set aside for other techniques, it was renewed as part of the feminist revolution of the eighties and in the development of feminist art.

Today we see even more diverse signs of the return to embroidery within the field of art, not only in Iceland, but internationally in contemporary art. What sparks this increased interest and visibility? What motivates contemporary artists to take to the needle in making their work?

This exhibition takes viewers on a journey through this specific sub-discipline of textile art, where diversity and creative joy are prominent. The exhibition reflects the growing interest in handcrafts, in recent years it having become more common for artists around the world to use this traditional method to create diverse and exciting works of art.

Exhibiting artists include Agnes Ársælsdóttir, Anna Líndal, Anna Andrea Winther, Eirún Sigurðardóttir, Erla Þórarinsdóttir, Guðný Rósa Ingimarsdóttir, Guðrún Bergsdóttir, G.Erla - Guðrún Erla Geirsdóttir, James Merry, Kristinn G. Harðarson, Kristín Gunnlaugsdóttir, Loji Höskuldsson, Petra Hjartardóttir and Rósa Sigrún Jónsdóttir.

The exhibition is a part of Reykjavík Arts Festival..

Images of exhibition

Images from opening




Birkir Karlsson, Ingunn Fjóla Ingþórsdóttir