07.08.12 – 24.10.12

Brynjar Sigurðarson received a Masters degree in product design from ECAL, Lausanne, in June 2011, following a Bachelors degree from The Iceland Academy of the Arts(IAA). For his graduation project at the IAA he embarked on a month-long trip to Vopnafjörður (weapon-fjord), a small rural community in the North East of Iceland. Brynjar deliberately chose a place he had never visited before, meeting farmers, fishermen, the local priest, the mayor, knitting women and a shark hunter. The products of his research were furniture objects with no defined functions. The methods, materials, forms and colors used in the furniture objects were all the result of this trip. For example, a method used in most of the details was passed on by a 70 year old shark hunter and fisherman. When Brynjar visited him he was preparing nets for the 100 day lumpfish season, using a netting needle and a nylon string. This was the focal point of the project: When things, as methods materials and forms, leave their original environment or just go from one environment to another, their function and meaning converts or changes.

Now Brynjar has revisited his project and added to it a collection of sticks. Like the original furniture objects, the sticks have no defined function. Sticks are part of our childhood and the element of play is always present around them. Sticks also have a strong reference to tools and weapons. They are often used as an extension to our bodies as well as a support, like the walking stick. We at SPARK use a stick to turn the lights in the ceiling on and off, and also to reach objects that are placed high on the gallery´s walls. A few years ago when we had burglars in our home, my husband grabbed a broom stick to attack them.  Then when my arm got stiff as a result of a skiing accident the physical therapist advised daily exercise using a stick. So sticks can become handy when you least expect.

Since visiting Vopnafjörður in 2009 Brynjars work has taken him to many places he had never visited before. He went to ECAL in Lausanne to study for his MA degree. During his studies he did internships at Chris Kabel studio in Rotterdam and at the Big Game studio in Lausanne as well as working on a project for a milk farm in South East Iceland. He participated in a Pecha Kucha at the Festarch architecture festival in Perugia, Italy.  Brynjar received the Grand Prix at the Design Parade 6 in Villa Noailles, Hyeres, France, where he presented objects realized at ECAL and IAA. He participated in a workshop held by the shoe manufacturer Camper in Mallorca. Brynjar has been working on a research project for ECAL centered around glass, at the same time starting his own studio in Lausanne working on various projects, for example with the French ceramic company Sevrés and the glass research center Cirva in Marseille. He took part in pecha kucha at the Design Indaba conference in Cape Town, South Africa. The Danish fur company Copenhagen Fur presented objects partly made in fur from Brynjar´s graduation collection at ECAL. So what started as an innocent trip to a local village in Iceland turned into a much longer journey with new people and cultures, methods, materials, forms and colors. One could say that Brynjar has truly become a traveler and an explorer and now he holds a beautiful stick to complete that image.