Relate North’s Iceland chapter now published


Opening two-page spread from my chapter, “The Lure of Iceland.”

I’m delighted to announce my chapter in the new, fourth edition of Relate North, the remarkable series of publications about Nordic art and design edited by Timo Jokela and Glen Coutts. My chapter describes my own experience at the artist’s residency in Blönduós, and begins to consider some of the preoccupations of the Iceland Field School: the positionality, pleasures and obligations of the stranger/artist in residence, the ethics of engagement across difference, the possibilities and limitations of place-based work in a new place. This chapter is on the Iceland Field School’s reading list!

The full edition of Relate North is available for free download here.

Vaughan, K. (2017). The lure of Iceland: Wool and wildness at the Arctic Circle. In T. Jokela & G. Coutts (Eds.), Relate North: Practicing place, heritage, art and design for creative communities (pp. 106-131). Rovaniemi, FI: Lapland University Press.

Imagining Iceland: It all started in 2016…. Kathleen Vaughan

Jón Gunnar Árnason’s “Sun Voyager” along the Reykjavik waterfront, the view an abundance of Iceland’s silvery greys. Photo: Kathleen Vaughan, June 2016

The Concordia University Iceland Field School was sparked by my own exceptional experience in Iceland — responding to the remarkable landforms, people, and the delight of the freedom and focus of my artist’s residency at the Icelandic Textile Centre | Textílsetur Íslands in Blonduos. Even while still in residence, I began to imagine developing stronger ties and contemplate the possibilities of working in collaboration with the university and Textile Centre to bring my students to work and learn in this powerfully meaningful and transformative context. I am so grateful that both institutions were open to imagining the future along with me.

As part of the mobilization towards the Iceland Field School, and with the financial support of the Concordia Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Society and Culture (CISSC), in September 2017 I organized Imagining Iceland: From Concordia to the North. This happening featured four Concordia-associated artists and scholars, exploring their significance of Iceland to their own research and creation.


Video of the session can be seen here:

Imagining Iceland: From Concordia to the North from Kathleen Vaughan on Vimeo. Thanks to Margot and Valerie for production and editing.

Additional Iceland-focussed activities will be organized for the Concordia community in 2019, lead-up to what I hope will be the second iteration of the Concordia Field School in 2020 or 2021.