Martha Jurksaitis and Christian Hardy are the first artists-in-residence appointed to our Light Fantastic: Adventures in the Science of Light galleries. They can be seen at work every Monday, Thursday and Saturday (including in a purpose built darkroom) on their project – Double Exposure: A Tale of Two Planets – experimenting with the effects of light and dark on analogue film & photographs.
This post goes behind the scenes of their recent visit to the volcanic country Iceland, which influenced and appears in several of the works they’re creating.
Heading to Þingvellir National Park with all our film gear where ‘Althingi’ the Icelandic Parliament was founded in 930AD. On the tenth ‘Thor’s Day’ (Thursday!) of summer each year between 930AD and 1262AD, Icelandic Chieftains and their families would gather here for two weeks for the General Assembly of all Iceland, to resolve disputes, make important decisions, and obviously to party too! It’s a World Heritage site and is mentioned in many of the Icelandic Sagas.
Helo, the Helicopter Service of Iceland, very generously provided us with a three-hour helicopter tour of Iceland for our shoot, including the largest glacier on the island ‘Vatnajökull’ and the bubbling mud pools of Hveragerði. Here we are preparing for the flight.
Iceland gained its independence from Denmark in 1944, and to celebrate this fact Reykjavík hosts all manner of street entertainment, and that’s how we met Gunnar Víking Olafsson, founder of the Norse Riders motorcycle club and a bona fide Viking descendent whose grandfather was Iceland’s strongest man for 30 years!
At Þingvellir we spotted a gorgeous waterfall which was a setting for an episode of Game of Thrones. We met two nice park rangers who advised us on locations for our shoot, here they are proudly holding a map of their domain!
On location with the amazing Götuleikhúsið street theatre troupe, an absolutely incredible day and some wonderful footage.
Huge thanks to Eldhestar for providing two white horses for our film and photography shoot! One was called Steinn – Icelandic for ‘Stone’. What beautiful creatures.
You can watch Martha and Christian (every Mon, Thurs and Sat) create this new series of artworks in Gallery 2 until 4 September. Join us on Thursday 3 September to see them unveil their finished photographs and films in the Double Exposure: Closing Event.