Eco-Human Theory and Practice
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Home \ News and Events \ EYES AS BIG AS PLATES: A SEARCH FOR MODERN HUMANANITY BELONGING TO NATURE

EYES AS BIG AS PLATES: A SEARCH FOR MODERN HUMANANITY BELONGING TO NATURE

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Eyes as Big as Plates is the ongoing collaborative project between the Finnish-Norwegian artist duo Riitta Ikonen and Karoline Hjorth. Starting out as a play on characters from Nordic folklore, Eyes as Big as Plates has evolved into a continual search for modern humanity belonging to nature.

The series is produced in collaboration with retired farmers, fishermen, zoologists, plumbers, opera singers, housewives, artists, academics and ninety-year old parachutists. Since 2011 the artist duo has portrayed seniors in Norway, Finland, France, US, UK, Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Sweden, South Korea, Czech Republic, Japan, Senegal, Outer Hebrides, Tasmania and Greenland.

Each image in the series presents a solitary figure in a landscape, dressed in elements from surroundings that indicate neither time nor place. Here nature acts as both content and context: characters literally inhabit the landscape wearing sculptures they create in collaboration with the artists.

Photo: Eyes as Big as Plates # Boubou (Senegal, 2019) © Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

Photo: Eyes as Big as Plates # Markku (Finland, 2012) © Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

As active participants in our contemporary society, these seniors encourage the rediscovery of a demographic group too often labelled as marginalized or even as a stereotypical cliché. It is in this light that the project aims to generate new perspectives on who we are and where we belong.

Eyes as Big as Plates has previously been shown at the Norwegian National Museum (touring exhibition), Salamanca Arts Centre (Hobart, Tamsania), Deedee Shuttuck Gallery, The Chimney NYC, Landskrona Fotofestival (Sweden), Fotogalleriet (Oslo), Pioneer Works (NYC), Shoot Gallery (Oslo), The Museum of Contemporary Arts Kiasma (Helsinki), NADA Miami, Art Toronto, The Nordic House (Reykjavik), The Finnish Institute in Oslo, Paris and Stockholm, Tetley Brewery (Leeds), Seibu Shibuya (Tokyo), Villa Borghese (Rome), Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts (Nebraska US), Bogota International Photo Biennale (Colombia), gallery FACTORY in Seoul Korea, Finlandia University Gallery (Michigan US), The Nordic House (Faroe Islands), The National Museum of Greenland, the 44th Tendenser exhibition: Earth, Wind, Fire, Water – Nordic Contemporary Craft at Galleri F15 / Punkt Ø in Moss, Norway, amongst others.

Photo: Eyes as Big as Plates # Agnes II (Norway, 2011) © Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

Photo: Eyes as Big as Plates # Momodou Toucouleur (Senegal, 2019) © Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

Photo: Eyes as Big as Plates # Bob II (USA, 2013) © Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

The first Eyes as Big as Plates book featured portraits, field notes, essays and behind-the-scenes stories from the first six years of this project’s production. All 176 pages were printed with eagle-eyed precision in Gothenburg in Sweden and bound together with love at the last bookbindery in Norway. Each one of these hardcover books was hand-finished with summer leaves on the front and back covers. Designed by Greger Ulf Nilson and published by Forlaget Press, the edition of 2000 books was brought to life by a roaring crowdfunding success in 2016. The book was published in 2017 and was shortlisted for the Paris Photo / Aperture Foundation – Photobook Awards the same year, as one of 20 books from nearly 1000 entries in the ‘First Photobook’ category.

Photo: Eyes as Big as Plates # Uncle Dougie (Tasmania, 2019) © Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

Photo: Eyes as Big as Plates # Mr Oh1 (South Korea, 2017) © Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

The first volume is now sold out, but the second successfully completed crowdfunding campaign has recently secured the realization of a new book. Eyes as Big as Plates Vol 2 is planned to be published in conjunction with the ten-year anniversary of the project in 2021, and will feature sixty brand new works and field notes made over the last four years in South Korea, Tasmania, Outer Hebrides, Senegal, Iceland, Greenland and Norway. You can pre-order the new book on the website: https://eyesasbigasplates.com/buy-the-book-2/

Please get in touch for more information: eyesasbigasplates@gmail.com

 

 

 


About the journal

“Ecopoiesis: Eco-Human Theory and Practice” is the first international multidisciplinary Journal focused on building an eco-human paradigm, disseminating eco-human knowledge and technology based on the alliance of ecology, humanities and the arts. Our journal aims to be a vibrant forum of theories and practices aimed at harmonizing the relations of mankind and the natural world in the interests of sustainable development, the creation of Eco-Humanity as a new community of human beings and more-than-human world. The human being is an ecological being, not separate from the world. The Ecopoiesis journal is based on that premise and aims to develop a body of theory and practice within that framework.

The Journal promotes dialogue and cooperation between ecologists, philosophers, doctors, educators, psychologists, artists, musicians, designers, social activists, business representatives in the name of eco-human values, human health and well-being, in close connection with concern for the environment. The Journal supports the development and implementation of new environmentally-friendly concepts, technologies and practices in the various fields of health and public life, education and social work.

One of the priority tasks of the Journal is to demonstrate and support the significant role of the arts in their alliance with ecology and the humanities for the restoration and development of constructive relations with nature, raising environmental awareness and promoting nature-friendly lifestyles.

The Journal publishes articles describing new eco-human concepts and practices, technologies and applied research data at the intersection of humanities, ecology and the arts, as well as interviews and conference reports related to the emerging eco-human field. It encourages artwork, music and other creative products related to eco-human practices and the new global community of Eco-Humanity.