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The Making of magma x Marriott

Idea, composition and main themes

magma x Marriott event cover

When working on the concept of magma x Marriott, one of the first artists I thought of involving was Telma Har. Her body of work stood out already last year , when I was selecting artists after the open call for Surroundings/ENVIRONMENT: her series Völva talked about a priestess, a woman in deep connection with nature and the environment herself, fully at ease in solitude.

Her use of black and white reminded me of an old era of photography , giving a feeling of bygone modernity.

The practice of posing as her own subjects, and for that reason studying the costumes, outfits, and overall themes, also brought to mind my earlier experiments with photography, when I was doing exactly the same thing with the first compact digital cameras, delivering images with pixels as big as fingers to say the least. It brought back to mind how time consuming it was (for me at least ) to build the composition this way: it did however, carry the biggest satisfaction of the closure of a circle by pressing the shutter.

The artists plans, the artist poses, the artist executes.

Telma Har - Völva

There are 4 different examples of Telma's works in the showcase at Courtyard by Marriott: Völva; Me, the mannequin; My inheritance and Weather report.

Many of them have resonated with me multiple times, to the point that I decided to risk and put my own work together with hers. And even though the scheme adopted to organise the works was purely a visual one, a theme started to emerge naturally.

restaurant with photographic art prints in black and white, above a bright brown leather seating bench and marble tables with round hanging lamps above
Part of Telma Har's series Völva in the Restaurant area
On the ground floor, in the restaurant area, we can see Telma’s series Völva in its entirety.

As we mentioned, Völva is a series about connection with nature and with ones self, in a place of belonging.
My small series of oils on canvas titled The Awakenings (somehow similarly) represents a moment where I was slowly regaining connection with myself , mentally and physically, after and extremely difficult period.

A cosy and modern Marriott hotel lounge with Clizia Macchi's series of paintings entitled The Awakenings, hanging on a white wall and surrounded by colourful chairs of Scandinavian design, and a colourful rug in cold color palette
Clizia Macchi, The Awakenings (oil emulsion on canvas, 20x 30 cm), 2022

It feels safe to say that The Awakenings are showing the early stage of a development, or a mutation process, while Völva the final result: a sort of transformation from larva to butterfly, so to speak.

Starting with only semi-formed features (an eye, lips, a resemblance of a heart shape ) in my paintings, then the priestess protagonist of Völva manifests and assert her power on her surroundings.

As more intimate paintings and probably not immediately clear to the viewers, I placed The Awakenings in a cosy small lounge, ready to be found by the most curious.

The main floors show a mix of Telma’s larger works together with paintings of mine: close enough to talk to each other, but distant enough to stand out.

They are also dominated by two main themes: the representation of self and of personal inheritance and the tribute to Icelandic nature and culture.

large blue photographic print by Telma Har and a ceiling lamp on the foreground in the common area of Courtyard By Marriott Reykjavik Keflavík Hotel
Telma Har - Me, The Mannequin
Where Telma is consciously focusing on her role as an artist and a person in general, I choose to work with and for Natural Elements and it can be seen in the selected series such as Cosmic Flowers, The Earth that Shaped me, as well as in standalone works such as Fire Spirit, The Origin of The Night and In the Wind I live, celebrating nature's power and strength. This is also where Telma's work and mine take some distance.

The attention to the natural aspect is, however, also where Telma rejoins me at the end of the exhibition, with her Weather Report on the 4th floor: a colourful, shiny tribute to a clear bright day swept by the unforgiving wind of Iceland, where she poses as an almost unrecognisable human character dressed in tinsel. My representation on canvas of the same “pain point” entitled In the wind I live naturally took its place next to Weather Report.

It has been indeed interesting to notice how the dialogue between the different artworks has developed during the set up, as it was equally compelling to write about it.

I hope the artworks will catch your attention and, if you are living or visiting the Reykjanesbær area, you will take the time for a visit.

large blue oil on canvas painting by Clizia Macchi with two teal chairs and a coffee table of Scandinavian design in the common area of Courtyard By Marriott Reykjavik Keflavík Hotel
Clizia Macchi - The Origin of the Night

Here you can find our limited edition prints selected from the art showcase magma x Marriott

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