The Mariner’s Oubliette was filmed in the North Slope Borough in Alaska where human and other animal interests of many kinds intersect. With oil interests to the West and the conservation area to the east, such interests coalesce within a crucible of environmental contention.
The Bowhead whale is an important animal to the Inupiaq people and skeletal remains can be found scattered around Barrow and Kaktovik. Polar bears in the area depend on leftover whaling carcasses on the shore from hunting trips for food. There is symbiosis between culture and nature – a sort of magic, which this video work seeks to capture through an abstraction of imagery and sound.
The ‘oubliette’ is a name associated with forgetting. In medieval times, it signified a dungeon with the only entrance or exit being a trap door in the ceiling.
Snæbjörnsdóttir Wilson are 2016-19 Artists-in-Residence at the David Winton Bell Gallery, Brown University, Providence, USA, leading to the forthcoming solo exhibition.
The forthcoming solo exhibition at the Bell Gallery in Providence in April 2019, will comprise work made in response to the plight of the saltmarsh sparrow, resident along a narrow and depleting coastal margin along the US east coast. It is anticipated that the saltmarsh sparrow will be extinct by the year 2050.
Snæbjörnsdóttir Wilson are 2015-20 Polar Lab Artists-in-Residence with the Anchorage Museum, Alaska, USA, leading to the forthcoming solo exhibition.
In late September and early October, we’re off to Kaktovik in northern Alaska to undertake some research with our colleague Iñupiaq New Genre artist, Allison Akootchook Warden. At the same time, we’ll be showing new work entitled Shooting the Messenger in the exhibition, Aiviq and Nanuq, due to open on the 5th October 2018.
Snæbjörnsdóttir Wilson have recently installed a new work, a 14 metre tapestry, Searching for Stipa. The tapestry shows the complex structures of a grass seed Stipa pennata. During research for the project Beyond Plant Blindness, under the supervision of the artists Bryndís and Mark, a scanning electron microscope at Chalmers University of Technology was used to image the seed awn in twenty-nine highly detailed sections. The artists then meticulously assembled the scans as one image, using Photoshop software. From this single file, the tapestry was woven in wool, in Norway, by Kristina Aas.
It was installed in Hus B, Pedagogen, University of Gothenburg on 15-08-2018.
In May 2018, Snæbjörnsdóttir Wilson re-installed their exhibition Feral Attraction: Museum of Ghost Ruminants at Hnjotur Museum, near Patreksfjördur overlooking the mountain peninsula, Tálkni, where the events drawn upon in the exhibition took place in late 2009 and early 2010. Although the Museum is closed now for winter it will re-open in Spring and the exhibition will remain until July 2019.