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The ongoing photography series Eyes as Big as Plates started out in 2011 studying personifications of nature and folkloric explanations of natural phenomena. A decade later it has evolved into a continual search for modern human’s belonging in nature, taking the Norwegian-Finnish artist duo Karoline Hjorth and Riitta Ikonen to sixteen countries on a quest to understand our relationship with our surroundings. The second book in the series features new portraits produced in collaboration with retired wrestling coaches, pub patrons, Sami reindeer herders, Aboriginal uncles, kantele players, librarians, wild boar hunters, and surfers across four continents. To mark the project's ten-year anniversary, it also includes contributions from several guest writers and an extended field notes section revealing the behind-the-scenes action of each portrait.
Riitta Ikonen & Karoline Hjorth have collaborated since 2011 on publications and projects including Eyes as Big as Plates (ongoing), The World in London (2012), Time is a ship that never casts anchor (2014–18), Signal, Lights, Connected for the PyeongChang Winter Olympics (2018), TEDMED Talk 2020, and Finnskogen Understories (ongoing). Finnish artist Riitta Ikonen received her MA from the Royal College of Art in 2008. Norwegian photographer, artist and writer Karoline Hjorth received her MA from the University of Westminster (London) in 2009.
SPHERE is presented as part of Nordic Bridges, a year-long cultural initiative led by Harbourfront Centre in Toronto and supported by the Nordic Council of Ministers. Visit NordicBridges.ca to learn more.