Ásthildur Jónsdóttir (b. 1970) (PhD from University of Iceland, Doctor of Arts from University of Lapland, MA degree from New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development and MEd degree from the University of Iceland, school of Education.) Jónsdóttir works simultaneously as an artist, curator and art educator. She often works with installations in contemporary contexts and with the voices of participants from a selected place. In her doctoral research Jónsdóttir looked at the potential of contemporary art in education for sustainability. Her research interests include visual art and cultural movements that support sustainable development and education for sustainability at all levels, within both formal and informal contexts.
Environmental conservation and sustainable development are among the key challenges faced by countries and communities across the world. Jónsdóttir works often highlight the significant role of the arts and culture in addressing the most urgent issues of our times and the focus of her exhibitions often is participation, both in terms of participative art and participatory art. The latter describes artworks where she uses participation as a component of art making. In participative art projects, however, participation is the project and Jónsdóttir creates the framework allowing for participation with no preconceived ideas of the outcome. The focus is not on the fact that people participate, but on the fact that participation is the main principle governing human interactions.
Many of Jónsdóttir exhibitions present findings from her artistic research that takes a participatory,
collaborative approach to the importance of working together to protect nature. All living things depend on each other and all life can be impacted by even small changes in the environment. Humans can have an effect on nature in many different ways and it is important for us to create a system where we produce as little waste as possible. The journey towards sustainability requires the notion that we do not and can not take this path alone.