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Surroundings / Environment - Open Call for Artists based in Iceland

A few words on the open call

Surroundings / ENVIRONMENT is an open call born from the desire to bring the distinctive Nordic perspective to the Italian public, creating an island away from the main island while reflecting on the concept of surroundings vs the more complex environment.

The reason behind the theme is mainly this: the two countries, or regions if we want, Iceland and Tuscany, both have a very distinctive landscape aesthetic.

Tuscan landscape by Stefano Coltelly Photography

When we think of Tuscany, a variety of symbols immediately springs to mind: from the cypress trees, to rolling hills, cultivated fields, going through the typical borgo, to end with the grandeur of some of the most famous sacred buildings in the world.

Think of Iceland, and everything changes drastically: the lunar landscapes of the lava fields, majestic waterfalls and basalt formations; black beaches, an almost infinite horizon and wind, wind and more wind. (And “some” rain).

Seaside landscape with sculpture and moon, iceland
Laugarnestangi (Reykjavik shore walk) , by @73_klyzia

From a personal perspective of a foreigner living abroad I often asked myself: how much of my cultural background filters into the way I see Iceland ? Is the perception of my everyday Icelandic surroundings influenced by the entirety of my personal and emotional environment? And if so, how much?

Eventually, how would this final perception reflect into the artists practice?

The aim of the call is in fact to unveil the relation that Iceland as a whole might have with artists living on its grounds, and what other personal influences this relation is it subject by, or vice versa.


The locations: San Miniato and la Via Angelica

San Miniato, tuscany, italy
San Miniato

San Miniato is a historical town in Tuscany, located halfway between Pisa and Florence with an incredibly rich cultural and artistic tradition as well as a lively eno-gastronomic and craftsmanship scene, whose reputation has already arrived across the ocean all the way to Iceland already a few years ago.

Among the many locations suitable for an art exhibition, the choice has fallen on the space called La Via Angelica, a passage conducting to a small chapel in the left wing of an ex Dominican monastery. Needless to say, the place has a unique charm, a perfect fitting for visual art shows, and a masterpiece of architecture in itself, able to complement or contrast the works as the curator pleases.

la Via Angelica, San Miniato, old medioeval chapel with frescoes
La Via Angelica: the exhibition space

The exhibition generated by the open call will be part of the collateral events program of the well known Mostra Mercato del Tartufo Bianco di San Miniato, a festival that sees thousands of visitors every year in the last 3 weekends in November.

There has been a lot of interest in the open call and many applications have already come through. Surely reading more details about it has been helpful for those still considering submitting their application (small reminder: the deadline is on July 31st.)

As a sign of appreciation towards the selected artists, we would like to offer the opportunity of a personal exhibition in Tuscany in 2024: a team of art professionals will select one artist among the participant and the final choice will be announced at the closing of the event, in November 2023.

As always, you can find the most updated info on our Instagram account @magma_art_space.

Thank you for making it until the end of the post.

Until next time,

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