Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen - Eyes as Big as Plates

18 - 27 August 2017

Opening Reception 18 August 6-8 pm
Opening hours Tue - Sun 12-5 pm

Shoot Gallery is delighted to kick off the international book launch of Eyes as Big as Plates with a 10 day gallery exhibition. For their project "Eyes as Big as Plates," Norwegian photographer Karoline Hjorth and Finnish artist Riitta Ikonen have photographed people from 12 countries, dressed in elements from where they live. Driven by curiosity and imagination, the artists have travelled to a dozen countries on a quest to understand our relationship with our surroundings, and the series has grown to over sixty portraits.

The first edition book (Press) is the culmination of the first six years of their continual search for modern human’s belonging to nature.

Part sculpture, part installation and part photography, Karoline Hjorth (NO) and Riitta Ikonen (FI) work together from beginning to the end of the process with their different complementing skills. Each image in the series presents a solitary figure in a landscape, dressed in elements from surroundings that indicate neither time nor place. Nature acts as both content and context and the characters literally inhabit the landscape wearing sculptures made in collaboration with the artists.

So far the series include works produced in Norway, Finland, Iceland, Sweden, The Faroe Islands, France, UK, US, Japan, Greenland, South-Korea and Czech Republic. As the project continues to cross borders, it also aims to rediscover a demographic group too often labeled as marginalized, and to generate new perspectives on who we are and where we belong.

Eyes as Big as Plates is created in collaboration with retired farmers, fishermen, zoologists, plumbers, opera singers, housewives, artists, academics and ninety-year-old parachutists. These are people the artists meet through friends, relatives and newspaper ads, in hardware stores, noodle bars, indoor gardening society meetings, swimming pools, senior centers, on the city streets etc. 


The series is currently touring with the Norwegian National Museum and has previously been shown at Museum of Contemporary Arts Kiasma (Finland), Bogota International Photo Biennale (Colombia), Art Toronto (Canada), NADA Miami (US), Museum Sinclair-Haus (Bad Homburg), Fotogalleriet (Oslo), Pioneer Works/ Recess (NYC), Seibu Shibuya (Tokyo), Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts (US), The Finnish Institute in Oslo, Paris and Stockholm, Palazzo Borghese, Gallery Del Cembalo in Rome, Italy, gallery FACTORY in Seoul Korea, Glasgow Centre for Contemporary Arts and the National Museum of Greenland amongst others. Currently the series is on exhibit at the Nordic House in Reykjavik with further exhibitions and international book launches to be announced. 


The entire first edition of the book is hand-finished, each book unique with thinly pressed vegetation veiled underneath the cover cloth. It is designed by the Swedish designer Greger Ulf Nilson and published by Press Publishing (Oslo).


The series has been covered widely in the press, including Deutsche Welle, Huffington Post, BBC, Artlink Australia, Life Magazine (Hong Kong), Quotation (Japan), Conveyor Art magazine, SVA Magazine (NO), Fanfare (NO), NRK Nasjonalgalleriet, amongst others. Eyes as Big as Plates won the British Society of Gerontology’s Photocrowd award in early 2016 and the Nordic Crowdfunding Alliance’s ‘The Best Norwegian Crowdfunding Campaign’ in the Culture and Arts category for 2016. 

All images © Karoline Hjorth & Riita Ikonen / Courtesy of Shoot Gallery


About the artists

Karoline Hjorth (b. 1980) is a Norwegian photographer, artist and writer. She completed her MA at the University of Westminster (London) in 2009 and is currently based in Oslo. Her photographic work has received the Deloitte Award at the National Portrait Gallery in London and has been exhibited and published internationally. Her first book Mormormonologene was published in 2011, with her next book Billett Merket, a portrait series on online daters coming out in 2017/18 (Forlaget Press, Oslo). 


Finnish artist Riitta Ikonen(b.1981) graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2008, with an MA in Communication Art. Ikonen’s work, encompassing wearable sculptures, performance and photographs has since been in curated solo and group exhibitions in Kiasma, Tate Britain, NADA Miami, and London 2012 Olympic Park amongst others. She was nominated for Ars Fennica, Finland’s biggest art price in 2014, and exhibits, lectures and performs internationally. 


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