About the project
Icelanders in London was born from the idea of a People and Places exhibition in London by photographer Chris Gravett, who invited me to exhibit at the Espacio Gallery in London alongside several other photographers (including himself) in October/November 2013. Unfortunately, I realised once I’d started the project that due to other commitments, I’d be unable to exhibit this time round.
Undeterred, I continued to meet the Icelanders who had left their home country to come and live in London, and to photograph each of them with something they keep as a reminder of home. Icelanders are in general very fond and very proud of their country, and when talking to the people featured in this project I soon found out that just the very mention of certain places in Iceland will quickly bring them close to tears with heimþrá.
All the Icelanders featured here are wearing the traditional Icelandic sweater known as a lopapeysa. Tourists can pay extortionate prices for these much sought-after items, but if you know where to go you can pick them up for much less. To a native Icelander, however, it’s not really a lopapeysa unless it’s been knitted for you by a member of your own family. Traditionalists also insist on using undyed wool, which is why most lopapeysur consist of blacks, browns, greys and white.
I’d like to thank the following people for helping to make this project happen: Chris Gravett, Annabel Staff, Caitlin Mogridge, Edd Armitage, Camille Destres, Tom Harper and all the lovely Icelanders in London.