Video and multimedia visual artist Sigurður Guðjónsson has been awarded the Icelandic Visual Arts Council’s first ever Icelandic Art Prize, RÚV reports. Sculptor and illustrator Auður Lóa Guðnadóttir has been awarded the Council’s Motivation Prize. The main award comes with a monetary prize of ISK 1 million [almost $10,000] and is given to an artist living in Iceland who has distinguished themselves with a particularly remarkable exhibition during the previous year. The Motivation Award comes with a monetary award of ISK 500,000 [almost $5,000] and is given to a young working artist who has completed their undergraduate studies within the last five years and has had a public exhibition during that time.
Sigurður earned the award for his 2017 exhibition Inlight, which was on show in the chapel and morgue of the former St. Joseph's Hospital in Hafnarfjörður. The award committee said that “[t]he exhibition is a visual experience in which the viewer becomes conscious of his/her own existence and body. The works Fuser 2017, Scanner 2017, and Mirror Projector 2017 [which made up Inlight] are mysterious and powerful at the same time, and trigger subtle sensations that are, nonetheless, full of allusions to mechanical activity.”
The committee celebrated Auður Lóa for being unafraid to look for materials in unusual places and to interpret her subjects with insight and originality. “All her work and exhibitions sparkle with warmth and promises of continuing imagination and an unusual view on life.”
Other artists nominated for the prizes were Anna Júlía Friðbjörnsdóttir, for her exhibition Erindi / Serenade, Egill Sæbjörnsson for his exhibition Ùgh & Bõögâr Jewellery, and Hulda Vilhjálmsdóttir for her exhibition Valbrá.
See a video clip from Inlight and photos from the exhibition here.