Starting out as a play on characters from Nordic folklore, Eyes as Big as Plates has evolved into a continual search for modern human’s belonging to nature. The series is produced in collaboration with retired farmers, fishermen, zoologists, plumbers, opera singers, housewives, artists, academics and ninety year old parachutists. Since 2011 the artist duo has portrayed seniors in Norway, Finland, France, US, UK, Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Sweden, Japan and Greenland. Each image in the series presents a solitary figure in a landscape, dressed in elements from surroundings that indicate neither time nor place. Here nature acts as both content and context: characters literally inhabit the landscape wearing sculptures they create in collaboration with the artists.
As active participants in our contemporary society, these seniors encourage the rediscovery of a demographic group too often labelled as marginalized or even as a stereotypical cliché. It is in this light that the project aims to generate new perspectives on who we are and where we belong.
Eyes as Big as Plates is currently touring with the Norwegian National Museum and has previously been shown at Fotogalleriet (Oslo), Pioneer Works (NYC), The Finnish Institute in Oslo, Paris and Stockholm, Tetley Brewery (Leeds), Seibu Shibuya (Tokyo), Villa Borghese (Rome), Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts (Nebraska US), the Ars Fennica exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Arts Kiasma, Bogota International Photo Biennale (Colombia), gallery FACTORY in Seoul Korea, Finlandia University Gallery (Michigan US), The Nordic House (Faroe Islands), The National Museum of Greenland, amongst others. The next stop for the series will be a residency in the Douro Valley, Portugal this spring and exhibitions in Greenland, Iceland, Finland and Norway.
By Riitta Ikonen and Karoline Hjorth
*Eyes as Big as Plates is running a Kickstarter campaign to help fund a book featuring seniors from all around the world.