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Eyes as Big as Plates

Eyes as Big as Plates is a long-term joint venture project between the Finnish-Norwegian duo Riitta Ikonen and Karoline Hjorth that investigates modern man's affinity for nature.

  • © Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen, fra serien Eyes as Big as Plates, 2022. Preus museums samling.

This extensive photo series, which has also become two books, is the result of encounters with people and nature, or in the words of the artists: "people, flora, fauna and fungi", in sixteen countries across five continents.

Their meetings are based on conversations about affinity with places, identity and personal depictions of how individual relate to their surroundings. This forms the basis for sculptural costumes, texts and field notes, culminating in a portrait where each individual is photographed as a lonely figure in the landscape, dressed in elements taken from their surroundings.

For example, Karin finds herself in a fairytale-like forest interior surrounded by trees. She is placed in the middle of the picture, taken from the side, dressed in moss to resemble a sort of cloak. She is looking directly into the camera. In a short text she talks about her life and she describes how connected she is to nature and how she has never felt lonely there.

Over the course of just over a decade, the duo's project has gone through several phases. From their starting point which involved folkloric explanations of natural phenomena, with the older generation as one of the pillars of artistic collaboration, in recent years they have been focussing more on ideas relating to ecology and climate adaptation. Their aim is to encourage a collective and more synchronised way of dealing with the climate crisis.

This text has been taken from an essay written for the exhibition catalogue by Christine Hansen, the co-curator of the exhibition.

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    A day on location with artists Karoline Hjorth and Riitta Ikonen, with philosopher Arne Johan Vetlesen, their collaborator of the day in Vestskauen, Sande on 14 February 2023. Preus Museum comissioned a work from the artists for the exhibition FROM NATURE at Preus Museum. Conversation on location with the artists and Tinna Ludviksdottir/Preus Museum. Filming and editing by Tinna Ludviksdottir/Preus Museum 2023
Museum24:Portal - 2024.05.06
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