Arna Óttarsdóttir’s practice explores the traditional methods of the loom, creating elaborate tapestries. The visual source derives from her sketchbooks, where she does not select the final motif based on refined finish, but rather on the possibility of future exploration. It is tempting to look at Óttarsdóttir’s work, as textile, in light of the medium’s history over the past decades, with the appropriate references to social and feminist critique. Yet it seems like Óttarsdóttir actively tries to bypass that discourse by emphasizing her own process of discovery and love of experimentation. Ultimately Óttarsdóttir is driven by the same idea–the transformation of the mundane and unremarkable into something of significance. The works project the joy and wonder of alchemy, generating value from of nothing but diligence and ingenuity.
Óttarsdóttir has shown her works in a number of solo and group shows, in her hometown of Reykjavík and abroad including i8, Harbinger, Kunstschlager and the Reykjavík Art Museum in Iceland, Turner Contemporary in Margate, UK and The Willows, New York.