All posts by Mark Wilson

Selected Press and Reviews


2019   ArtZine

Boston Globe:

2017 AnTENnae: 10 years of the The Journal of Nature in Visual Culture ISBN-10: 9198385607 (see above in Publications)

2016   Antennae: The Journal of Nature in Visual Culture, Book Review by Wood Roberdeau You Must Carry Me Now: The Cultural Lives of Endangered Species Snæbjörnsdottir/Wilson (Spring) ISSN 1756-9575

2016  Humanimilia: Volume 8, Number 1 – Fall 2016 Reviews Katja Aglert &TorHolmberg Extinction Stories

2016  Morgunblaðið, Reykjavík, Iceland. Feral Attraction at ASÍ.

2015   Art Ltd, US. Review of Snæbjörnsdotti/Wilson’s work in Late Harvest and ASU Museum of Art.

2014   Configurations, Present Signs, Dead Things: Indexical Authenticity and Taxidermy’s Nonabsent Animal, Helen Gregory, Anthony Purdy. Volume 23, Number 1, Winter 2015 pp. 61-92, John Hopkins University Press.

2013 Trout Fishing in America and Other Stories, After the Animal, 4/13 Vol. 53. Snæbjörnsdóttir/Wilson in conversation with Ron Broglio

2012  ANTENNAE issue #21 Animal Influence Volume #1 () Snæbjörnsdóttir/Wilson paper On Animal Terms appears in the two-part online journal publication (peer-reviewed) based on the International Conference, Interactive Futures, Vancouver, November

2012   Black Flash, Magazine of Art, Photography and New Media, Snæbjörnsdóttir/Wilson by Amy Fung, pg. 24-26. Issue 29.2 Winter.

2011   GIBCA Andreas Haagstrom interviews Snæbjörnsdóttir/Wilson for the Gothenburg International Biennial of Contemporary Art

2011  Kulturradioen Kosmo: Sveriges Radio. 12th February 2011. Interview by Gunnar Bolin

2010   Art Lies (no 65) The Back Forty, Uncertainty in the City, ed. Anjali Gupta

2010  Antennae,(issue 13) Radio Animal at Interspecies, Interview Giovanni Aloi and Rikke Hansen

2010   Brainstorm, (102-103): Konst och djur ed. Ulrika Flink Uppsala,

2010  reCollections – Libby Robin – Journal of the National Museum of Australia. section nanoq – the Great White Bear

2010  Art and Research, The Animal Question, Interview with Kate Foster, Authors Snæbjörnsdóttir/Wilson

2010  Antennae Issue #13, Online Magazine, Interview with Kira O´Reilly; by Snæbjörnsdóttir/Wilson

2009  Art and Research, A Journal of Ideas, Contexts and Methods. Volume 3 ,Spaces of Encounter: Art and Revision in Human – Animal Relations Author B. Snæbjörnsdóttir

2009   Art and Research, Spaces of Encounter: Art and Revision in Human – Animal Relations edited by Ross Birrell,

2009    Suplemento Cultural de Reforma by Jesús Pacheco Domingo 16 de Agosto, Mexico

2009   Resonance FM, London based radio station – Interview with Mark Wilson for Pestival

2009  Animals and Society (Australia) Study Group News Bulletin, June

2009  nanoq in written by Marzena Parzymies (February)

2009   nanoq: flat out and bluesome, Cultural Life of Polar Bears, by Ruby Russell,

2009   Modern Painters, March 2009. The Right Stuff, by Steven Connor, p.62, (March), pp 58-63

2008  Art Artistic Research and the Animal Question, Art Monitor, No 3. Bryndis Snæbjörnsdóttir and Dr. Helena Pedersen

2008  Antennae, Issue #8, Winter 2008.

2008  Antennae, Issue #6, Summer 2008

2008  Get Polarized, in Herald Sun Australia by Sally Bennett.

2008   Artists turn up the Heat on climate change and culpability, in The Age, 24/09/08 by Robert Nelson.

2008  Changing the artistic climate, in The Critics, by Andrew Stephens 6/9/09

2008  ‘Climate Change Art’ ABC TV Sunday Arts, (accessed 13/10/08)

2007  Delayed: Life from Edge City, pod-cast in conversation with Bob Cheatham and Ron Broglio,

2007  Art & Research, Snæbjörnsdóttir/Wilson in conversation with Steve Baker, Ross Birrell,

2007   Polar Bear: Lost and Found, Current TV broadcast

2007   Cultural Geographies in Practice, Review by Dr. David Matless

2007   New Scientist: February 17, p.48 Second Sight

2007     frieze magazine: June/July/August, p.263 Great White Bear, Andrew Dodds

2007    Art and Research Rhapsody in Blue, review by Sam Stead,

2007    List 11 – cia.

2006    Time Out London: October 18 – 25, p.38 Bear Essentials, Lisa Mullen

2006/7  The Times, Oct. 25th 06, Rachel Campbell-Johnston

The Daily Telegraph, 14th Oct 06, Benjamin Secher.

The Daily Mail, Oct. 20th 06, Michael Hanlon

The London Paper, The Guardian, Morgunbladid 28.10.06 (Iceland)

ACP Photofile 79, Susan Bright (Australia),

2007   The Royal Photographic Society Journal, December/January Vol.146 Issue 10

2004   Big Issue, no 581 nanoq: flat out and bluesome

2004   Artist’s Newsletter (May issue) nanoq: flat out and bluesome

2003   NatSCAN (Natural Sciences Collections Association) issue number one. Article: nanoq: flat out and bluseome Snæbjörnsdóttir/Wilson


Edinburgh Arts Festival – Vanishing Point: Where Species Meet (2019) St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral

Vanishing Point: Where Species Meet (2011/19) St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral, Haymarket, Edinburgh.

Despite the original site-specific setting on the Gothenburg waterfront, our ambition has always been to show this work in an ecclesiastical context. In some small but significant way, the work can be construed to reference a well-known biblical miracle narrative in which generosity and sharing are key. But strategically, rather than situating it entirely in human terms, it carries the idea  across and between species. (see Project: Vanishing Point)

Vanishing Point: Where Species Meet is a three-channel video work commissioned for the Gothenburg Biennial 2011,Pandemonium by the curator, Sarat Maharaj. The brief was for a site-specific, relational work: Vanishing Point focused on the roof of the main Biennial building, Roda Sten, situated on the River Gota waterfront. Research included acquiring knowledge of and developing sensitivity towards the site, including the various species of gulls, their diet and behaviour and was conducted through discussions and interviews with local fishermen, birdwatchers and pavement café owners in the area. Seagulls are often regarded by people locally, as a nuisance.

The performance-based HD video work documents a meeting between a human and the gulls around a custom-built table at which food (bread and fish) is prepared and shared. The table, designed by the artists, also played a crucial role in generating and testing our ideas concerning notions of sharing and hospitality across species.

The performance took place on the roof of Roda Sten, the main Biennial building in Gothenburg, on the River Gota waterfront, along which al fresco café and restaurant tables are targeted on a regular basis by fearless gulls.

Vanishing Point can be seen as a critique on the legacy of how Christian values have been interpreted and together with Cartesian objectivity, have placed anthropocentrism and human interests at the heart of our conceptions of the world, to the detriment of a potentially more ecological consciousness. Such viewpoints have contributed to a dislocation between human beings and the wider environment rendering it largely as a series of resources and sites for exploitation. The project asks how performance, involving the free will and participation of non-human others, may be used to test ideas of parity. Vanishing Point sets out, site-specifically to reconfigure ideas of notoriety and interspecific social order. How can art and aesthetic presentation contribute to the reappraisal and rehabilitation of a known pariah? In the context of long-established scientific rationale and religious dogma, the work attempts through the processes and actions of art, constructively to effect new audience-awareness of interspecific interdependence?

For the biennial,Vanishing Point was exhibited alongside works by Francis Alys and Ernesto Neto.

Vanishing Point: where species meet (2019) at Edinburgh Art Festival

Vanishing Point: Where Species Meet (2011/19) St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral, Haymarket, Edinburgh.

Despite the original site-specific setting on the Gotheburg waterfront, our ambition has always been to show this work in an ecclesiastical context. In some small but significant way, the work can be construed to reference a well-known biblical miracle narrative in which generosity and sharing are key. But strategically, rather than situating it entirely in human terms, it carries the idea  across and between species.

Snæbjörnsdóttir/Wilson receive major funding from Icelandic Research Fund for 3-Year project 2019-2022

The project will conclude with two major solo exhibitions in Akureyri Museum of Art (September 2021) and Anchorage Museum (April 2022)
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In January 2019, Mark Wilson PhD, artist and Professor at the University of Cumbria, UK and Bryndís Snæbjörnsdóttir PhD, artist, Professor and MA programme director at the Department of Fine Art, Iceland University of the Arts, received a 42 million ISK (268,000GBP) grant from Rannís, the Icelandic Research Fund  for a three-year research project Visitations: Polar Bears out of Place.

In the context of global warming and sea-level rise, ‘Visitations’ takes specific historic and contemporary polar bear arrivals to the coasts of Iceland as a point from which to consider more widely, issues of population displacement, hospitality and increasingly excited global migration patterns. Approaching the subject from a contemporary art perspective, in a cross-disciplinary collaboration with folklorists, anthropologists and an international art curator, the project probes intimate and geo-political contact zones, between humans and others and thereby, related networked effects of climate change, population displacement and environmental disruption The research will gather and combine images, texts, audio, biological and other material relating to specific recorded polar bear arrivals. Methodologies will involve a close study of the relationship between source material and its cultural and environmental contexts as well as to the transmission, interpretation and presentation of subtexts embedded within all visual and textual matter. The project has a number of satellite partner institutions, both locally and abroad, allowing for further comparative study within a wider cultural context, and will conclude in two major museum exhibitions, an international conference and a publication encapsulating the project as a whole.

Collaborators are from the University of Iceland´s programme in Folkloristics and in Art History, as well as its Research Centre in Strandir, the Akureyri Art Museum and the Anchorage Museum in Alaska.

Of the 198 applications submitted to the IRF for this year, 16%, or 31 projects received support. The project is hosted by the Iceland University of the Arts. This is the first time a research project within the field of arts practice has received support from the Icelandic Research Fund.


Shooting the Messenger

Snæbjörnsdóttir and Wilson’s 2018 series of works Shooting the Messenger (2018) takes as its leitmotif, the idea of the unwelcome visitor, arriving at the shores of an island. The visitor’s appearance in this place, though opportune, is not entirely voluntary and certainly not comfortable. In Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, Marcus Coates’ Finfolk, Lars von Trier’s Dogville, the protagonist’s appearance, may be seen as the consequence of changed circumstance and possibly a harbinger of other more extreme events to come. Like them, with global warming, looming belatedly but ever more prominently in the media gestalt and so, in public consciousness, the arrival of polar bears in Iceland signifies a pivotal moment, in its potential to trigger either (temporally) new (or historically repetitive) behaviours in the host, with equally far reaching consequences.

In the summer of 2008, two polar bears made respective appearances on the Skaga peninsula, (Skagaströnd) in the north of Iceland, on the 3rd and on the 16th of June. Their arrival, though not at all extraordinary in itself, caused a particularly public reaction and controversy.

In response, for Anchorage Museum, last year, the artists made a two-part work entitled Shooting the Messenger in which a cross section of one of each bear’s teeth indicating annual, cementum-layer growth, was set against a roster of climate change events, summits and warnings correspondent with those same years of each bear’s life.

(the diptych is in collection of Anchorage Museum, Alaska)

Bryndis Snæbjörnsdóttir and Mark Wilson for INSIDE/OUT lecture series at Leeds Beckett University














The Only Show in Town
Leeds Beckett talk

For the last twenty years, the collaborative artist team, Snæbjörnsdóttir/Wilson, have been practicing and producing in the field of contemporary art on an international stage with projects and exhibitions in the UK, Europe, Australia, and the USA. They have built a reputation, resonant in many fields – in contemporary art, animal studies, human geography, museology, the environmental sciences and more. In this respect, it has been their strategic intent to drive the idea that contemporary art is a significant voice, made possible by the application of unique blends of original methods and cross-disciplinary appropriation.
Snæbjörnsdóttir/Wilson’s artwork is multidisciplinary in nature, most usually taking the form of installation, involving anything from sculptural interventions, found objects and materials, video, audio, drawing, photography and texts. Notwithstanding their participation in International Biennales and major gallery shows, their adherence to the significance and advantage of site-specificity have often led them strategically to exhibit in some tiny and otherwise most obscure venues.
The production of their work is unashamedly driven and facilitated by intensive research and interdisciplinary associations, because as artists they consider art to be both the most promising platform and the most likely instrument by which the fusion and mutual complication or disturbance of traditionally discrete knowledge-fields will succeed in effecting significant and increasingly urgent cultural and behavioural change.
And change is the only show in town…
So, the lecture will examine what it means in the context of crisis, (e.g. extinction, the Anthropocene), to consider and practice art as a tool of disruption and mediation, how passivity is a weapon and how complex cross-disciplinary relationships can effectively and otherwise, be productively managed.
As a consequence of their approach, through many projects, the artists have invested and directed their energies towards alliances and conversations across multiple fields in exhibitions, associated seminars and international conferences. For them, every exhibition made, is a provocation of sorts and is used to create opportunities for extending discourse, often between people who would otherwise rarely, if ever, engage. Over this time and as a consequence, they have exhibited and otherwise continue to be involved with many other internationally significant artists and theorists across the world.
Now, in 2018, they continue to develop ongoing projects in Rhode Island (at the David Winton Bell Gallery at Brown) and in Alaska (the Anchorage Museum).


nanoq: flat out and bluesome. Research archive at Centre for Art + Environment at Nevada Museum of Art, US

Bryndís Snæbjörnsdóttir and Mark Wilson investigate relationships between nature and culture, human and non-human animals, and domesticity and what is often referred to as “wild nature.” Working from both Reykjavik and London, they create installations that combine sculpture, text, photography, and video. Their most well-known exhibition, Nanoq: Flat Out and Bluesome (2001 – 2006), was a survey of all the taxidermied polar bears in the United Kingdom.
While researching the history of each bear, they identified the date, place and people associated with the animal’s death. They also created a photographic archive of each specimen and its taxidermic context—whether in storage, on display, or undergoing restoration.
Although Snæbjörnsdóttir and Wilson have worked with a number of other species, including birds and fishes, polar bears remain a subject of great interest to them. Since 2015 they have been artists-in-residence at the Anchorage Museum in Alaska in its Polar Labs program. Their work is on the denning habits and structures of the Alaskan bears, and how we must minimize disturbance of their dens by oil companies on the North Slope.


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nanoq: flat out and bluesome