Gillian Pokalo is an interdisciplinary printmaker from the United States, though for five months she is calling Iceland her home. The work she created at the Fish Factory in July is part of an ongoing investigation into the way that nature affects and often eclipses the world made by human hands. With a focus on documenting Iceland’s abandoned farmhouses, she photographs and then develops her images as screen prints, which she combines with cyanotypes and acrylic paintings, in order to create implied narratives about what is left behind. As July in Stodvarfjordur is so lush, Gillian harvested wildflowers to use in her cyanotypes, to create images that were meditations and reflections of the moment- honouring the prolific growth and biodiversity of the East Fjords.
While at the Fish Factory, she also helped orchestrate the next installment of the Home is Where the Heart Is Project, which she has created in collaboration with Anna Maria Cornette, of Bokasafn Reykjanesbaer. Within the span of a week, Gillian taught screen printing to women both at the Fish Factory and the library in Egilsstadir, as each woman reflected on what home means to them. Their creations are hung side by side in the library with projects by women in previous workshops that have taken place in Phoenixville, Reykjanesbaer, Hafnarfjordur, and Isafjordur. That project, with the support of a grant from the Library System of Iceland, will be traveling and expanding to Dalvik and Arborg in the next few months.
Gillian truly feels at home in beautiful Stodvarfjordur and is so grateful for the time to be in such a nurturing place, and she is truly grateful to know Una and Vinny and all the rest of the wonderful folks who make this experience so incredible.
Thank you Gillian !