The Image Makers


The Image Makers

Ingibjörg Birgisdóttir and Lilja Birgisdóttir are sisters. They make images, still and moving, artistic projects, album covers and videos for the crème de la crème of the Icelandic music scene.

Published in the 2013 January-March issue of Iceland Review – IR 01.13. Words and portrait by Páll Stefánsson, additional images courtesy of Ingibjörg and Lilja Birgisdóttir.


Image-making is strange today,” says photographer Lilja. “You doubt every image you see. What is real? What is photoshopped? Today, a photograph is only one mouse click away from being deleted, or changed into a totally different image. Does it matter? The final result is what counts. Photography, how we create images, is changing fast.”

“Yes,” agrees Ingibjörg, a graphic designer and film director. “The problem with music videos today is that people are that one click away from switching channels, or finding a new one on Vimeo or YouTube; you only have seconds to catch people’s attention, a fraction of a second. On the video for ‘Varúð,’ the third track on Sigur Rós’s latest album Valtari, I wanted a slow build-up like the song, making viewers use their imagination. Varúð means warning and an old postcard from Þingvellir [National Park] was the first thing that came to mind: somebody making a warning signal with a flashlight. The song tells a story—I saw that story.”

“It’s good for us to work together; we share the same vision. We don’t have to discuss the next step, we know what to do and can be totally honest with each other. We think alike, like sisters do,” laughs Lilja. “Most of the time, we have the artistic freedom to create covers and make videos. But some artists want to be part of the creative progress. It can be both demanding and interesting,” she adds. Ingibjörg continues, “We like to involve the artists, let them know what we think. Get feedback. It can be very stimulating.”

You can read the remainder of the article in the 2013 January-March issue of Iceland Review – IR 01.13. Five times a year the print edition of Iceland Review & Atlantica brings you a wealth of articles on all aspects of life in Iceland including Páll Stefánsson's latest images of the country’s majestic landscape. Click here to subscribe and here to browse through a selection of pages from the current issue.