Sigurður Guðjónsson (b. 1975) was named The Artist of the Year for his incredibly powerful and consistent installation Inlight in the chapel and morgue of former St. Joseph’s Hospital (ASÍ Art Museum).

Sigurður Guðjónsson. Photo: Saga Sig. 

The exhibition displayed three video works, Fuser 2017, Scanner 2017, and Mirror Projector 2017, that were all projected onto the floor and walls in three different locations in the building.

The imagery was sourced from the world of technology and the lens of the camera is pointed at the rhythmic and repeated movements of machine parts in close up. The result was mesmerizing abstract images, lines, and lights that refer back and forth in time, in carefully considered interaction between image and sound.

The reverberations of moving rollers, scanners, and projectors blend into the imagery and integrated into the visual aspects of the works. Combined, the videos form a comprehensive installation in this unusual exhibition space, creating a compelling symbiosis of artwork and space. The mechanical, repetitive rhythm and flickering light contribute to creating the general experience, simultaneously evoking an awareness of the tangible and material and a sense of spiritual dimensions and the proximity of the otherworldly. The imagery and the way it is presented underlines the history of the building, its close connection with ideas of mercy, grace, and care.

The title of the exhibition refers to worship and efforts to capture the unique and transient with repetition and elation in a manmade environment of an abandoned building. The works refer to the history of mechanics and interpret the desire to mould the world and manage the properties of nature.

The panel thinks that Sigurður Guðjónsson’s works in the exhibition Inlight create an exceptionally strong whole. With an impressive interplay of image and sound, Sigurður manages with his work to make the viewers aware of the history of the exhibition space, spiritual dimensions, and their own fleeting existence.

Nominations – Artist of the year 2018:

Anna Júlía Friðbjörnsdóttir for Serenade in Hafnarborg.
Egill Sæbjörnsson for Ùgh & Bõögâr Jewellery in i8 Gallery
Hulda Vilhjálmsdóttir for Valbrá in Kling & Bang
Sigurður Guðjónsson for Inlight in the chapel and morgue of former St. Joseph’s Hospital (ASÍ Art Museum).

Motivational Award

Auður Lóa Guðnadóttir receives the Motivational Award of the year  

Auður Lóa Guðnadóttir is a young artist who made a name for herself with a few exhibitions last year. Auður Lóa‘s works are a fresh wind on the scene. They display imagination and skill to work with both art historical references and popular culture. She uses innovative methods and approaches her subjects with playfulness, humour, and positivity. Auður Lóa is adept at tackling contemporary issues and connecting them to ancient myths and legends.

In organising the group installation/exhibition Diana Forever, which combined play and a reasoned approach, Auður Lóa merged social collective awareness and the strong communal empathy with a modern legend. Her solo exhibition Legends in Pláss home-gallery showed without a doubt that she has a solid grasp of Western culture that she expresses with roughly shaped miniature sculptures. People and animals, painted in bright colours refer to the history of both high-brow and low-brow Western culture. IN this way, Auður Lóa manages to break down the mechanical dualism of Western culture. Boundaries of distinction are blurred and the statuette, the domestic ornament, is elevated to the pedestal of art. Auður Lóa demonstrates audacity by taking this girly ornament, the statuette, and presenting it as a certified work of art.

The panel believes that Auður Lóa Guðnadóttir is more than deserving of the Motivational Award of the year. She has shown that she is unafraid of mining source material in unexpected places and interpreting her subject with intuition and ingenuity. All her work and presentation radiate warmth and promise of continued imagination, and an unusual outlook on life. Therefore, the panel would like to encourage Auður Lóa to continue to create in her own unique way.

The Jury of the Icelandic Art Prize 2018:

Bryndís Hrönn Ragnarsdóttir
Dr Magnús Gestsson
Dr Margrét Elísabet Ólafsdóttir
Margrét Kristín Sigurðardóttir
Sigrún Hrólfsdóttir