Glasgow School of Art (MFA Fine Art / 2007)
What is your favourite film of all time?
"La vita e Bella" Life is beautiful...it ' s just so optimistic.
What music are you currently listening to and why?
Blindfold, whereas my partner Biggi (musician/composer)and I are doing a collaboration on a little film project.
Which living artists do you most admire and why?
Bjork , due to her great karisma and being a pioneer artistically and musically.
Which deceased artist do you most admire and why?
John Lennon, because of his contribution to a more peaceful world.
Which exhibition that you have visited made the greatest impact on you and why?
Nan Golden in Florence, 2004. It was a collaboration between Goldin and Bjork where they dealt with intimacy. It was exhibited in a basement in a castle. It was the first time I saw Goldin ' s slideshows, it opened a new dimension for me how to reveal photographs and to use the sound and environment to magnify it. I just wached it over and over again.
What is the question you get asked most frequently about your work and how do you answer it?
It depends on different series, but people tend to ask me questions about where my pictures are taken and often wonder whether they are an installations or for real. ...I answer, "for real" :-)
What / who inspired you to be an artist?
I believe it was my mum, she is a fashion designer and always encouraged the creativeness in me and my 5 brothers and sisters when we were kids. Also the volcanic nature and surroundings at a remote hotel, called Hotel Budir (where I worked as a teenager) at Snæfellsnes in Iceland.
Can you tell us about where you make your art and what if any the significance of this location is?
I tend to go to remote places, like Kulusuk in Greenland or stay in Caves in Andaluzia, Spain. Dont know why, perhaps it ' s because I come from Iceland wich is itself rather remote and isolated. I like to go abroad to start a new project...go to new places, be inspired...
What do you like most about being an artist?
The freedom I suppose, also being able to travel and get to know all the great people I have met for the past years who have been part of my projects.
What is your greatest achievement as an artist to date?
Travelling alone to Greenland three times and staying in Caves in Andaluzia with real gypsies, still wondering if it was all just að dream? :)
What are your plans for the coming year?
A solo exhibition at Degree Art which opens the 12th of March. I'm also excited about a collaboration with Biggi Hilmarsson, musician which is also exhibited in March, in the Museum of Nervi in Genoa, Italy. Also a few publications early in the year in Australia and Iceland.
Latest artwork - View all by this artist
WILD IS THE WIND£1,800.00
I AM WATERSize(HxWxD):70x100x5cm£1,800.00
Like the StormSize(HxWxD):70x100x0.1cm£950.00
We are Weather #11Size(HxWxD):50x70x0.1cm£495.00
We are Weather #10Size(HxWxD):50x70x0.1cm£495.00
We are Weather #9Size(HxWxD):50x70x0.1cm£495.00
We are Weather #8Size(HxWxD):50x70x0.1cm£495.00
We are Weather #7Size(HxWxD):50x70x0.1cm£495.00
We are Weather #6Size(HxWxD):50x70x0.1cm£495.00
We are Weather #5Size(HxWxD):50x70x0.1cm£495.00
We are Weather #4Size(HxWxD):50x70x0.1cm£495.00
We are Weather #3Size(HxWxD):50x70x0.1cm£495.00
We are Weather #2Size(HxWxD):50x70x0.1cm£495.00
We are Weather #1Size(HxWxD):50x70x0.1cm£495.00
Dream in Places #7Size(HxWxD):50x70x0.1cm£495.00
Dream in Places #5Size(HxWxD):50x70x0.1cm£495.00
A Sense of AdventureSize(HxWxD):70x100x4cm£1,250.00
Do or DreamSize(HxWxD):70x100x4cm£950.00
Cyan No TimeSize(HxWxD):70x100x4cm£950.00
Secret of the StarSize(HxWxD):70x100x0cm£950.00
A sense of solitudeSize(HxWxD):70x100x0cm£1,200.00
The priest and the policemanSize(HxWxD):83x63x0cm£700.00
Quite cold kitchenSize(HxWxD):83x63x0cm£700.00
We are weather Photo-BoxSize(HxWxD):3.5x11.5x9cm£45.00
Nintendo Control on a Corner ShelfSize(HxWxD):83x63x0cm£700.00
Between blowing and flowingSize(HxWxD):100x70x0cm£850.00
A sense of solitudeSize(HxWxD):30x40x0cm£550.00
Every Other PlanetSize(HxWxD):30x42x0cm£390.00
Dream Things that Never wereSize(HxWxD):59.4x42x0cm£500.00
In the middle of somewhereSize(HxWxD):70x100x0cm£850.00
Icelandic born artist María Kjartans graduated with her MFA from Glasgow school of Art in 2007. Since then she has been living and working in Granada, Glasgow, London, Paris and now most recently Reykjavik, exhibiting her photography and video art all around the world. Last year María was rewarded Signature Art Award in London and the IdeasTap / Magnum Photographic awards for her photography projects and most recently nominated for best Icelandic short film in Iceland Short & Docs festival 2012. Alongside doing visual art María collaborates with theatres, performers and musicians in UK, France, Iceland and Spain.
"As much an explorer as photographer, Maria’s fascination and obsession with life cycles and events, across cultures, dominate the subject matter of her pieces and drives her to visit often remote and unusual locations. The results are bewitching insights and stories that present the viewer with a captivating sense of discovery, honesty and empathy for her subjects." Elinor Olisa, DegreeArt.com
“To be able to capture life as it is lived is magic. It is fixing a moment of reality. I suppose my curiosity and passion for new places and experiences is what takes me out to explore. I am a traveler I suppose. The feeling of being scared, but do it anyway, is what makes me feel alive. To get out there and being a part of our world. It is never a solitary journey when you are collaborating with the sun.” María Kjartans
Click on the link below to view a video interview with Maria @ the Magnum Photographic awards, London 2011 :
2005 - 2007 M.F.A. Glasgow school of Art, Glasgow, UK
2002 - 2005 B.A. The Icelandic academy of the Arts, Reykjavik, Iceland
2012 “IdeasTap / Magnum awards” – second price, Photography and video, London
2011 “IdeasTap / Magnum Photographic awards” – First price ,Landscape category, London
2011 “Signature Art Awards” – First price, Photography category, London
2011 “Clearly Remote”, CAM: Casoria contemporary art museum, Paris
2009 “Lonely Place dwellers”, Miraggio club , London
2009 “Shared Future”, Empire Gallery, London
2012 "Vinnslan #1”, Norðurpóllinn leikhús, Seltjarnarnes
2012 “IdeasTap-Magnum Photographic and video awards”, Magnum Print room, London
2012 ”HonnunarMars / DesignMarch”, Kaenuvogur Listhús, Reykjav
2012 “Sample 12”, Print Space, London
2012 “Magmart festival”, Execution room, Napoli
2011 "ÖÖ-Was it a Dream #3", Helios cinema, Tallinn
2011 “IdeasTap-Magnum Photographic awards”, Old Truman Brevery, London
2011 “Signature Art Award”, Execution room, London
2011 “2nd Roma Pavilion”-Media archive, Venice Biennale, Venice
2010-2011 "Fata Morgana" Meno Parkas Gallery, Kaunas, Lithuania
2010 "ÖÖ-Was it a Dream?", Nordic Avant-Garde, Stockholm
2010 "Art Takes", (AAF), Battersea Park, London
2010 "Pedder Photography Exhibition", Bigger Picture Gallery, London
2010 "Foolery", City Arts and Music Project, London
2010 “The Signature Art Award" O Gallery, London
2010 "20x20", Madame Lilllies Gallery, London
2010 “The Pursuit of Happiness”, Arsenal Gallery, Poznan
2009 “The Pursuit of Happiness”, This is not a Gateeway Festival, London
2009 “Cellule de Crise, La Generale, Paris
2009 “Cold Horizons”, Museum de Nervi, Genoa, Nervi, Italy
2008 “Working London”, Willesden Green Gallery, London
2008 “Berlin New Live festival”, Berlin, New York
2008 “Nordic moods”, Arken Museum of Modern Art, Copenhagen
2008 “UVP (Worldwide)”, Lowsalt Gallery, Glasgow
2007 - 2008 "Where the Baltic Sea and people meet" Travelling exhibition
2007 “London Group open exhibition, Menier Gallerie-Chocolate factory, London
2011 "Park - art magazine" Issue #2
2009 “Framelines Magazine” Online publishing, Australia
2008 “Seconds”online publishing project issue 9
2008 “20x20 magazine”issue 1, London,
2008 “Nordiske Stemninger”, Arken Museum of modern Art, Copenhagen
2007 “Camera Austria”-magazine, issue 99, Graz
Achievements & Awards
2nd price @ IdeasTap-Magnum photographic and video art awards 2012, 1st price@ IdeasTap-Magnum awards 2011, Signature Art Award 2011, 2nd prize @ the Scottish student Press Awards 2007