The deep grain of the inquiry: Landscape and identity in Icelandic art

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4 Scopus citations


This paper examines contemporary Icelandic art as an example of nuanced and substantial place-based design, and extracts lessons for landscape architects interested in the role of landscape architecture in constructing and critiquing identity. The Icelandic landscape is extraordinary; it figures in regional identity forming, and recurs in cultural production. Much contemporary Icelandic art engages with the physical place of the country as subject, medium, laboratory, metaphor or cultural touch point. This essay describes how Icelandic artists conceive of site, and use those conceptions in their artwork to shed light on the relationship between cultures, place, and material production. These site conceptions and design strategies are transferable to landscape architecture; they propose methods of defining and incorporating site in landscape architecture as a component of cultural identity construction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)38-51
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Landscape Architecture
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development


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