The Weather Diaries – a Nordic innovative approach towards sustainable and socially responsible fashion

The exhibition “The Weather Diaries” will be on view from September 29 until January 5, 2020, at the Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design (Lai 17, Tallinn). The exhibition will showcase fashion artworks designed by artists from Iceland, Greenland and Faroe Islands, who have been inspired by the unique Nordic landscapes and harsh weather conditions.

The exhibition “The Weather Diaries” has been created in cooperation with the artist-curator duo Sarah Cooper (1974, USA) and Nina Gorfer (1979, Austria), who over the course of two years visited Iceland, Greenland and the Faroe Islands to explore the influence of island environment, cultural identity and traditions on the creativity of local artists and designers. As opposed to the scientific approach of traditional anthropologists studying local communities, Cooper&Gorfer transform their observations into poetic stories captured through the lens of a camera. Their experiences are transformed into staged portraits filled with symbolism, layers of colour, and textures. The staging of each portrait was conducted in collaboration with local fashion designers, which can be seen in the exhibition’s textile installations.

In “The Weather Diaries”, nature and place, where the artists come from, are put in the foreground. “Some of the photographs in the show are completely free of figures, capturing the vastness of the North Atlantic landscapes and the violent unpredictability of the weather instead,” Nina says. “We felt the power of nature. It leaves an imprint on you even if you are there just as a tourist, so of course living and growing up in these places affects you. The creativity that comes out of these three places has a wildness and a fearlessness to it,” Sarah continues.

The artist duo Cooper&Gorfer began collaborating on artistic photography projects in 2006, and have since exhibited internationally and published several books of high artistic quality. They work according to their own method, in which journeys and meetings with people – and those people’s stories – are in focus. They live and work in Gothenburg, Sweden.

The exhibition, presenting 10 Icelandic, Greenlandic and Faroese fashion designers, moves away from the conventional fashion world and its seasonal trends. Instead it focuses on the creativity and the factors influencing it - cultural identity, traditions, nature, landscapes, weather, as well as the Nordic innovative approach in creating sustainable fashion by using local resources.

The exhibition was commissioned and produced by the Nordic House in Reykjavik (Iceland) and had its premiere in 2014 as the central piece of the 3rd Nordic Fashion Biennale that took place at Museum Angewandte Kunst in Frankfurt, Germany. It has since been exhibited in Denmark, the Netherlands, the Faroe Islands, Iceland, USA, China, Sweden and Greenland. In 2019 the exhibition was on show in Riga, Vilnius and now in Tallinn.

The exhibition presents 10 artists and fashion designers: Barbara I Gongini, Guðrun & Guðrun (the Faroe Islands); Bibi Chemnitz, Nikolaj Kristensen, Najannguaq Lennert (Greenland); STEiNUNN/Steinunn Sigurðardóttir, JÖR/Guðmundur Jörundsson, Kría, Mundi, Shoplifter a.k.a. Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir (Iceland).

The exhibition in Estonia is organised by the Nordic Council of Ministers’ Office in Estonia in cooperation with the Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design and Nordic House in Reykjavik. The exhibition is supported by The Nordics,  the Cultural Endowment of Estonia; Nordic Council of Ministers; the Icelandic Ministry of Education, Science and Culture; Danish Institute of Culture, and DSV Global Transport and Logistics.


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