CIRRUS is a Nordic-Baltic network of Art and Design higher education. There are 20 excellent art and design schools from the Nordics and the Baltics in the circle of this cooperation. The central activities of the partner institutions are art and design, including innovative activities, technical development and artistic practices.

Workshop in Iceland Pre-Christianity Roots of Nordic Creative Language

Pre-Christianity Roots of Nordic Creative Language

A course in Iceland July 14th – 21nd – 2013.    (Part of Lunga:
Blue Factory

The Iceland Academy of Art ( and the Oslo National Academy of Art ( in collaboration with further institutes that are in the Nordic network of design education. Traditionally students have participated from a number of Nordic Academic arts and design institutes in the region. The course takes place in the Blue Factory in Seyðisfjörður, East-Iceland (, Iceland as part of the 12th Luna Ar Festival.

Past references can be seen here on the web distributor of work: (

The town Seyðisfjörður has been part of the international society for a long time. It is the location of the arrival of the first telephone link from Iceland to the world over 100 years ago. It is the arrival point for the only passanger boat link to Europe and has been part of the international arts scene for decades. This narrow fjord is a place of a strange connection between strong local culture and the international arts and design scene. Located in Seyðisfjörður is Skaftfell Arts Centre ( with galleries, residences and workshops. Something that has been part of the portfolio of the Iceland Academy since its establishment.

The Lunga Arts Festival ( is a yearly event held in this town in a bohemian summer. In the middle of July people gather in a town of only 700 inhabitants, to enjoy the space that is created by electric vibes from various art forms melting together when young people from foreign locations unite in one place through their creativity. Lunga is first and foremost a festival with the purpose of summoning people in creation and to strengthen awareness and knowledge about art and culture. Through out the years Lunga has grown and has now become on of Iceland’s biggest art festival for young people. Going from having only 20 participants the first year to being completely sold out for the last years.

The Blue Factory ( is an old disused herring factory that went under a snow avalanche in the 70’s and presence of people is not allowed there in the winter because of further snow risk. It is being developed as a mini art and design factory that takes place in the summer. It houses woodworking and metal workshops and is full of industrial relics as a source of inspiration.

The master class is run by professor Guðmundur Oddur Magnússon ( from the Iceland Academy and professor Halldór Gíslason ( in the Oslo Academy. They have held courses with same focus in Iceland, Norway, Greenland, Sweden and wider. The course will look into historical methods of Nordic myth rooted in being in harmony with nature. The aim of the workshop in the summer of 2012 is the roots of Nordic symbolic language, especially researching and experimenting with pre-Christian activity and symbolism. A great part of Nordic history has been distorted by Christian definitions of existence while Old-Nordic mythology and symbolism has landed under clouds of definitions and knowledge that is contaminated by Christian beliefs. The Blue Factory gang has spent time looking for the roots of symbols and language and the workshop will go through this and seek further samples. Last year’s workshop concentrated on building a sweat-lodge and researching into Nordic sweat culture for the same reasons. Slowly through academic periods and dialogue different knowledge is made available to designers and creatives.

The course is 1ECTS and is seen as an extra curricular activity for students in design but students from the other creative fields are welcome to apply. Participants will be 6-8 and will be selected on basis of group dynamics and diversity. Here are images from the Blue Factory and Lunga in July two years ago: ( and here an album from last year: Part of the project will be in collaboration with Skálanes ( All this material is available also through the Blue Factory Website: (


The course is only open to students that have finished a BA degree.

There is no fee for participation.

Accommodation is provided in the factory but students have to bring their own sleeping bags.

Food or travel expenses are not provided but there is a communal kitchen in the factory and plans are that the group cooks together for intensive dialogue.

Students cover their own travel expenses but in some institutions, where the course is offered, can apply for travel grant to participate in the course.

Dates: Arrival not later than July 12th ending on July 21nd.

Engagement will be the basis for student evaluation.

Interested applicants should contact Halldór directly by mail ( rnd og May. Travel information will be provided after enrolment. The boat sails from Norway and Denmark to Seyðisfjörður and various flight companies offer trips to Reykjavik. Internal flights to Egilsstaðir from Reykjavik are provided by AirIceland. Students will be picked up in Egilstaðir airport on arrival.

All applicants can send requests and ask for informations for help for applying for local funds for travel support. Send direct questions for info and help to professor Halldór Gíslason (