Eyes as Big as Plates exhibition opens at An Lanntair

  • Published on: 18th December 2020
See all news

An Lanntair is delighted to announce the opening of new gallery exhibition Eyes as Big as Plates, by Norwegian-Finnish artist duo Karoline Hjorth and Riitta Ikonen, on Saturday, December 19th.

The new show comprises of portraits of people the duo met while touring the Outer Hebrides in early summer 2019 as well as works from as far apart as Greenland, Norway, South Korea and Tasmania.

Head of Visual Arts Roddy Murray said: “In this difficult year we are particularly pleased to have this show in our programme. An ongoing project, it has expanded beyond its Norwegian origins, transcending borders and boundaries, from multi-national location shots to major exhibition centres worldwide. 

Eyes as Big as Plates offers a unique perspective on the human condition, the environment and our place within it. And of course, it’s apposite that almost half the images in this iteration are from the Outer Hebrides.”

In 2011, Karoline and Riitta embarked upon their Eyes as Big as Plates project to study explanations for natural phenomena from Norwegian folklore. Since then, the artists have travelled to fifteen countries, and the project – part sculpture, part installation, and part photography – has evolved into an ongoing exploration of how contemporary humans relate to nature and our surroundings.

Combining their different but complementary skills from beginning-to-end of the process, Karoline and Riitta’s series features subjects ranging from artists to zoologists by way of retired farmers, pub-patrons, fishermen, plumbers, opera singers, housewives, academics, and ninety-year-old parachutists.

As it continues to cross borders, Eyes as Big as Plates aims to represent a marginalised demographic, and to generate new perspectives on who we are and where we belong.

Eyes as Big as Plates previously toured for four years with the Norwegian Museum and has exhibited in galleries in Columbia and the USA, as well as Tokyo, Italy, South Korea, Sweden, Finland, and Tasmania amongst others.

The project was nominated for Paris Photo-Aperture Foundation Photobook Awards 2017 in ‘Best First Photobook’ as one of 20 shortlisted books out of nearly 1,000 entries; and was also winner of the British Society of Gerontology’s Photocrowd award in 2016, as well as the Nordic Crowdfunding Alliance’s ‘Best Norwegian Crowdfunding Campaign’ in the Culture and Arts category for 2016.

Cianalas:  The Eyes as Big as Plates exhibition is the culmination of An Lanntair’s ‘Cianalas’ project work with the Nordic photography duo Riitta Ikonen and Karoline Hjorth, funded by National Lottery Community Fund and Life Changes Trust.  In a two week period Riitta and Karoline travelled from the Butt of Lewis to South Uist capturing older people in their natural environments and finding out more about their life stories.

Eyes as Big as Plates opens in An Lanntair’s main gallery on Saturday December 19th and runs until Saturday January 30th, 2021.

Supported by the National Lottery Community Fund and The Life Changes Trust.

Visitors are reminded that COVID-19 safety measures are in place at An Lanntair gallery and will therefore be asked to provide contact details for Scottish Government Test & Protect, to observe social distancing and to wear a face-covering if able to do so.