Icelandic Puffins

Emily Floyd, Icelandic Puffins, 2017, Wood, automotive paint, black oxidised steel. Courtesy the artist and Anna Schwartz GalleryDeploying great sculptural skill, using traditional hand-carving technique inherited from her toy-maker family to create each piece, Emily Floyd presents Icelandic Puffins – her tenth solo exhibition at Anna Schwartz Gallery from 8 April 2017.

The individual puffins are adjoined with Icelandic text identifying members of the financial elite in Iceland. Infamously, the country’s economy collapsed in 2008 when its three major banks (Glitnir, Landsbanki and Kaupthing) defaulted on their international debt, sending shockwaves across the globe.

It is said that Olafur Hauksson, the policeman who later prosecuted the bankers, mapped the investigation on a whiteboard in his office. Floyd’s piece playfully speculates on this radical diagram by mirroring it in the installation layout.

Floyd thus combines her interest in the seductive power of design with her engagement with questioning established models, here economic governance and institutional critique. Under the veneer of the charming allure of these puffins lies the dark reality of international financial and political crisis.

Floyd is known for a witty and engaged artistic practice, as curator and poet Ranjit Hoskote has noted “her work takes shape at the intersections where sculpture meets public space and design collides with social crisis.

Floyd renegotiates the possibility of public address, critically engaging in increasingly diverse and unpredictable viewership in debate, her work gestures toward new forms of sociality, for which the artwork can serve both as provocation and as venue.” (All the World’s Futures, 56 International Art Exhibition. La Biennale di Venezia, 2015).

Emily Floyd works in sculpture, printmaking and public installation. Recent projects include: Kesh Alphabet, inaugural commission by the Art Gallery of New South Wales for The National; A Working Model of the World, Parsons School of Design, New York (2017); and The Language of Ornament, National Gallery of Victoria. Floyd is Senior Lecturer in the School of Fine Art at Monash University: Art, Design and Architecture, and is a 2017 Sidney Myer Creative Fellow.

Icelandic Puffins
Anna Schwartz Gallery, 185 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
Exhibition: 8 April – 13 May 2017
Free admission

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Image: Emily Floyd, Icelandic Puffins, 2017, Wood, automotive paint, black oxidised steel. Courtesy the artist and Anna Schwartz Gallery