The Book as Sculpture: In the Studio with Eygló Harðardóttir

February 22, 2019 by

When Eygló Harðardóttir is in the studio, she thinks up a question as a departure point then organically seeks to answer it without a preconceived endpoint. Applying this same approach during her six-week residency, Eygló worked in the silkscreen studios exploring color, color functions and structures for changeable artist’s book forms.

At the beginning of her residency, Eygló created extensive and meticulous color studies in which she focused on the behavior and tones of the ink and the relation between ink and different types of paper. As a result of this close looking and tinkering, her studies embody a mature understanding of color theory and a simultaneous awareness of how materials and composition shape the viewing experience.

Additionally, influenced by her earlier artist’s book Sculpture executed in 2016, Eygló sought to expand the lexicon of the artist’s book as a sculptural form. In Sculpture, the viewers experience of handling the artist’s book could be modified as the pages are loosely stitched together with perforated patterns on others that allow the audience to fold, tear and refashion the structure to their preference.

“I want to further push the boundaries between sculpture and the artist’s book. A book usually has a story line, a beginning, middle and an end. In the artist’s books Sculpture, the viewer is the one that makes the story by handling and re-arranging the pages. An artist’s book is an exhibition of its own and it can fit into flexible conditions be it museums, galleries or people’s private spaces”

Images courtesy of the artist. Sculpture. Artist’s book. 2016.

In 2017, Eygló developed her second artist’s book, Another Space at Women’s Studio Workshop, focusing on abstract color pages, layering and the three dimensional possibilities for altering paper. Printed in eight colors on Shiramine paper, Another Space could be variably combined and installed in space. The color combinations and the translucency of the Shiramine paper allow more light to interact with the pigment and further illuminate the pull and push between the colors. For example, orange would appear much brighter against a cream background while cream and white would appear closer together. This contrast would vary based the viewer’s position in the exhibition space.

“My final color decisions are made intuitively, not so much with my brain. They are born out of a curiosity and the relationship between the color value and intensity. I also do not fully resolve the composition. It is something I sense, and stop before it is completely finished to then leave a question for the viewer.”

Another Space was shown in similarly titled solo exhibition at the Living Art Museum in Reykjavík, Iceland alongside drawings, screen prints and sculptures realized by the artist in 2018. With the larger body of work for the exhibition, she continued to focus of the viewer’s spatial experience, and their movement not only in the physical space but internally, an inward looking feature of her own process in creating the work.

Next summer, Eygló will further her artistic inquiries linked to space when she participates in a collaborative project The (Digital) Age of Aquarius conceptually based around water as a metaphor for the subconscious, and the ways digital logic is built on the fluid exchange of information.

Eygló Harðardóttir is a visual artist living and working in Reykjavik, Iceland. She studied Fine Arts at the Icelandic College of Arts and Crafts and the Academy of Art and Design/Fine Art in Enschede, Holland. She also holds a Masters degree in Arts Education from the Iceland Academy of the Arts as well as a Bachelors in Teacher Education. Eygló has participated in several solo and group exhibitions across Europe and her work has been collected by National Gallery of Iceland, Reykjavík Art Museum, the Living Art Museum, among others.