Autumn Exhibition 2022 – Winning Proposal

The Art Council of Hafnarborg has selected high tide – low tide as the autumn exhibition of the year 2022, from the proposals that were submitted at the end of last year, but the winning proposal was submitted by Sigrún Alba Sigurðardóttir. The focus of this year‘s exhibition will be on the seaboard, which is grand in scale, as well as being home to little lifeforms, delicate flora and diverse rock formations. There, the large and fierce clashes with the small and fragile, as the waves crash relentlessly on the shore.

At the exhibition, the seaboard will be viewed through the work of artists from different countries, whose culture and economy are greatly shaped by the seaboard and the ocean. Throughout history, those that live near the coast have in large part based their livelihood on the proximity to the ocean, where the shoreline marks a clear border, in addition to being a bridge to other worlds. The seaboard can thus play a part in elucidating the complex positions and responsibilities mankind has towards nature in the Anthropocene.

In relation to climate change, one might view the seaboard as an area of conflict or battleground. Rising sea levels have an immediate effect on the seaboard – life at the coast will change as global temperatures continue to rise and this may even force humans to resettle in new places en masse. The exhibition will then call attention to the tenuous yet precious relationship we have with nature, in the hope of moving viewers and causing visitors to rethink their own position towards the seaboard in a whole new light.

The participating artists will be announced at a later date.

Sigrún Alba Sigurðardóttir is an independent curator, having previously curated exhibitions at the National Gallery of Iceland, the LÁ Art Museum, the Reykjavík Museum of Photography and the National Museum of Iceland. She is currently working on an exhibition based on collaboration between Fotografisk Center, Denmark, Landskrona Foto, Sweden, Northern Photographic Center, Finland, and the Akureyri Art Museum, Iceland. This exhibition is set to open in Copenhagen in January 2022. Sigrún Alba is a teacher of art history at the University of Iceland, as well as teaching at the design department of the Iceland University of the Arts. She has published seven books and a number of academic papers, on Icelandic art and photography in particular.

This will be the twelfth exhibition in Hafnarborg’s Autumn Exhibition Series, where the objective is to create an open platform for the arts, taking various viewpoints and subjects into consideration. It is the Art Council of Hafnarborg, along with the Director, that reviews submissions and selects the winning proposal each year.

Holiday Opening Hours at Hafnarborg

Hafnarborg is open as usual, until Christmas, everyday except Tuesdays, 12–5 p.m. The opening hours during the holidays are as follows:

December 23rd: open 12–5 p.m.
Christmas Eve: closed
Christmas Day: closed
December 26th: closed
December 27th: open 12–5 p.m.
December 28th: closed

December 29th: open 12–5 p.m.
December 30th: open 12–5 p.m.
New Year‘s Eve: closed
New Year‘s Day: closed

Please note that the office of Hafnarborg will be closed during the holidays. Regular opening hours will resume from January 2nd. Entry is free and everyone welcome.

The Globe of Goodwill 2021 – Sold out at Our Shop

The Globe of Goodwill 2021 is sold out at our museum shop, as in many places in the Great Reykjavík Area. Some places may still have a few pieces left, but we recommend calling ahead to make sure that the Globe is still in stock.

A list of places selling the Globe can be found here.

The Globe of Goodwill 2021 – Now Available at Our Shop

One Year by Sirra Sigrún Sigurðardóttir is The Globe of Goodwill for the year 2021. Each year, the Globe is sold as a limited edition, but last year the Globe sold out. All proceeds go to benefit children and young people with disabilities. The artist describes the piece with these words:

The sphere is surrounded by an illustration that shows different sun orbits depending on the time of the year in Iceland, from long bright summer nights to the winter solstice when light is only present for few hours a day. The illustration depicts the different brightness levels of the day and the decisive seasonal fluctuations that we experience as the year goes on here by the Arctic Circle. The five colours that stretch around the sphere represent dawn, first light, daylight, sunset and darkness. The most prominent colours are yellow for bright midday and blue for the darkness of the night; in between are orange, pink and purple for the twilight. The piece tries to capture something we are all so familiar with in our daily lives, but it also speaks to our larger context, to our ever-changing position in space where we revolve around an axis on an orbit around the sun.

Sirra Sigrún Sigurðardóttir completed her BA degree from thee Icelandic Academy of Art in 2001 and an MA degree from the School of Visual Art in New York in 2013. Sirra’s work is cosmic in nature, often connected to speculations about our position within the inner workings of nature, physics and the forces that drive the world. It often evokes our status as individuals, our value and smallness where the small is placed in the context of the larger and the meaning is transferred from one phenomenon to another so that it becomes a new perception, a new vision. She has held solo exhibitions at the Reykjavík Art Museum, The Living Art Museum, the Árnes Art Museum, Hafnarborg and Kling & Bang. She has also taken part in numerous exhibitions around the world, including in China, Finland and England. Sirra has attracted well-deserved attention for her art and received grants and recognition from the art funds of Svavar Guðnason, Guðmunda Andrésdóttir and the Guðmunda S. Kristinsdóttir Prize. Sirra has been a member of the artist-run space Kling & Bang since its inception in 2003.

The Globe of Goodwill will be available at our museum shop from December 9th until December 23rd. This year’s Yuletide Lads mobile is also available at the shop until December 16th. To read more about the mobile, please click here.

Yulitide Lads 2021 – Now Available at Our Shop

They Yulitide Lads mobile Spoon-Licker is now available at our shop. The mobile is designed by design team Arnar&Arnar and the ornament comes with a poem composed by Kristín Svava Tómasdóttir. Spoon-Licker is the last Yule Lad in the Yuletide Lads series by the Benefit Society for Children with Disabilities, having presented sixteen ornaments in the series. The series then includes the thirteen Icelandic Yule Lads and their parents Grýla and Leppalúði, as well as the Yule Cat.

A host of the nation‘s most accomplished designers and poets have joined forces with the Benefit Society in order to bring their interpretation of these characters to life. Candle-Stealer was first in the series, having been made available for purchase before Christmas 2003.

Hafnarborg has long been among the sellers of the Yuletide Lads and the Globe of Goodwill, but due to delays in the manufacturing and shipping process of the Globe, it will be available a few days later than normal. The Globe of Goodwill will thus be available for purchase from December 9th until December 23rd. All proceeds from the sale of the Globe of Goodwill and the Yuletide Lads go to the Benefit Society for Children with Disabilities.

The Yuletide Lads mobile, presented as a limited edition, will be available at our shop from December 2nd until December 16th.

Where is Völundur? – Countdown to Christmas

Hafnarborg is counting down the days till Christmas by showing the Icelandic Christmas calendar Hvar er Völundur?  (Where is Völundur?) between 4 and 5 p.m. during the holiday season.

The television series was produced by RÚV in 1996 and has become a holiday classic. In the series, Felix and Gunni look for the toymaker Völundur who makes all the best Christmas gifts. During the search, the two get into a lot of adventures, as they get closer and closer to Völundur.

The creator of the series is artist Þorvaldur Þorsteinsson, whose works are now on view at the museum as a part of a retrospective exhibition.

Families with children are especially invited to attend the screenings, but each episode of the series will be shown on repeat between 4 and 5 p.m. each day. Since the museum is closed on Tuesdays, two episodes will however be shown on Wednesdays. Entry to the museum is free, as always.

Be Informed – Sign up for Our Newsletter

Are you interested in the Hafnarborg programme? Would you like to receive notifications about exhibitions, events and other happenings at the museum? Is your email address perhaps not already on our mailing list?

If so, we encourage you to sign up for our newsletter by entering your email address into the newsletter field at the bottom of the home page to be informed about our programme.

See you at Hafnarborg.

Images of Mary – Help Us Recreate an Artwork

Is your name María? Do you live in Hafnarfjörður? Would you like to take part in an artwork?

At this time, Hafnarborg is working on a retrospective of works by artist Þorvaldur Þorsteinsson (1960-2013), called Long Are the Trials of Man. At this exhibition, one of the artist‘s works, Images of Mary will be recreated, but Þorvaldur first exhibited said work at a show in the Akureyri Art Museum in 1996. The upcoming exhibition at Hafnarborg is set to open on Þorvaldur‘s birthday, November 7th.

Images of Mary is an artwork which calls for participation, as the artist made a request for pictures on loan from anyone named María, living in Akureyri. The pictures he subsequently exhibited together in one space of the museum, under soft lighting and an air of holiness. In this way, he made a reference to sacred images of Mary, with an equal mix of the holy and the homely.

Hafnarborg now makes a similar request, asking all those named María (or Mary etc.), living in Hafnarfjörður, to lend the museum pictures of themselves to exhibit at this upcoming retrospective. The picture can be a passport photo or a larger photograph, a phone selfie or a picture from the family photo album, drawing or a painting, if available, a portrait or a wide shot, according to preference. The size or age of the image is also not important, with variety being seen as optimal.

The picture can either be delivered to the front desk of the museum, during opening hours, or sent via email to [email protected], including information about the full name and phone number of the lender. Pictures can be turned in until October 10th. After the exhibition has come to an end, participants will be able to get their pictures back at the front desk of the museum.

If you are interested but have some questions, please contact us via telephone at 585 5790.

Tónagull – Music Workshops in Polish This Winter

Tónagull is a research-based music workshop, based on many years of practice and created especially for children belonging to the youngest age group, as well as their parents. Since September 2019, workshops have also been held regularly in Polish with much success. In collaboration with Hafnarfjörður and Hafnarborg, it is now also available to Polish families living in Hafnafjörður, but the first music workshops in Polish took place at the museum in spring 2020.

The workshops will be held once a week at Hafnarborg – every Sunday at 12 p.m., from September 19th – in a form resembling a musical game, which both children and their guardians can enjoy. These music workshops are tailored to the needs of children aged 8-10 months, but both younger and older participants (up to 3 years old) will be able to enjoy the classes by discovering the world through sounds.

The first Tónagull workshop took place in January 2004 and the meetings have been enjoying increasing popularity ever since. The positive reception of the workshops is also evidenced by the fact that parents participating in the meetings often come back again when new children appear in their lives. The method was developed by Helga Rut Guðmundsdóttir, lecturer at the University of Iceland.

During the classes, we will work:

  • in Polish
  • based on popular children’s songs and original compositions

We will also use a specially prepared set of simple, child-safe musical instruments. You don’t need to have any musical preparation to participate in the workshops. The teacher in charge of the workshops will guide the participants step by step through the entire structure of the classes with the help of subsequent musical games. Here you can find the website of the workshop in Polish.

Come and see for yourself how enriching it is to make music together. The participation fee for each class is only 500 ISK. Please click here to sign up.


Tónagull – warsztaty dla rodziców z dziećmi w wieku 0-3
Niedzielę o godz. 12, w Hafnarborg

Tónagull to oparta o wieloletnią praktykę metoda warsztatów muzycznych utworzona specjalnie z myślą o dzieciach należących do najmłodszej grupy wiekowej i ich rodzicach. Od września 2019 spotkania w języku polskim odbywają się regularnie w Reykjaviku i cieszą się ogromną popularnością. Dzięki wsparciu miasta Hafnarfjörður oraz centrum sztuki Hafnarborg teraz dostępna będzie także dla polskich rodzin mieszkających w Hafnafjörður.

Spotkania będą się odbywać – w każdą niedzielę o godz. 12, począwszy od 19 września – a ich forma przypomina muzyczną zabawę, z której radość czerpią zarówno dzieci, jak i ich opiekunowie. Warsztaty znakomicie odpowiadają na potrzeby dzieci w wieku 8-10 miesięcy, jednak zarówno młodsi, jak i starsi uczestnicy (do ok. 3 roku życia) będą w równym stopniu cieszyć się przebiegiem zajęć odkrywając świat za pomocą dźwięków.

Pierwsze warsztaty Tónagull odbyły się w styczniu 2004 i od tamtej pory spotkania cieszą się wciąż rosnącą popularnością. O pozytywnym odbiorze warsztatów świadczy także fakt, że rodzice uczestniczący w spotkaniach często wracają kolejny raz, kiedy w ich życiu pojawiają się nowe pociechy. Metoda opracowana została przez Helgę Rut Guðmundsdóttir, wykładowczynię na Uniwersytecie Islandzkim.

Na zajęciach pracować będziemy:

  • w języku polskim
  • w oparciu o popularne piosenki dziecięce oraz oryginalne kompozycje

Będziemy także korzystać ze specjalnie przygotowanego zestawu prostych, bezpiecznych dla dzieci instrumentów muzycznych. Aby uczestniczyć w warsztatach nie musisz mieć żadnego przygotowania muzycznego! Kierujący warsztatami pedagog przeprowadzi uczestników krok po kroku przez całą strukturę zajęć za pomocą kolejnych muzycznych zabaw. Zapraszamy na stronę internetową warsztatów po polsku.

Przyjdź, aby przekonać się jak niezwykle wzbogacającym doświadczeniem jest wspólne muzykowanie. Koszt jednych zajęć wynosi tylko 500 ISK. Kliknij tutaj by się zapisać.

Autumn Exhibition 2022 – Call for Proposals

As in previous years, curators will get a chance to submit proposals for next year’s Autumn Exhibition at Hafnarborg. The Autumn Exhibition Series began in the 2011 and since then eleven exhibitions have been produced as a part of the series. This year‘s autumn exhibition, Community of Sentient Beings, which opened on August 28th, was selected by the same method, from the proposals submitted last year.

By calling for proposals, the objective is to collaborate with different curators, who submit interesting proposals for an exhibition, as well as letting new voices be heard. For this reason, curators who are new to the field are encouraged to send in their application. It is evident that a programme of this kind is not without warrant, as it has produced diverse and thought-provoking exhibitions, which have been well received.

The call is for group exhibitions connecting artists or artworks through their subject matter, artistic method or other ideas, but exhibitions analyzing or focusing on a specific aspect of one artist’s work will also be considered. Proposals for exhibitions of contemporary artists’ works or exhibitions entailing historical analysis are welcome as well. The Director and Art Council of Hafnarborg will review the proposals and select the winning proposal.

Please note that the deadline to submit proposals has been extended by two weeks until midnight, Sunday October 24th.

Applications are only accepted via email at [email protected].


Application process

The application process is divided into two parts. For more details about the process and the required material, please read on.

Part 1

For the first part of the application process, we ask for the following information:

  • Description of the project with an emphasis on the idea underlying the exhibition (1000 words maximum).
  • CV of the curator(s).
  • Short CV of the artist or artists, as well as others that might become part of the exhibition project.

Please provide as detailed a description as possible, while respecting the maximum word count. We will also accept illustrative material that is descriptive for the project, though this is not required. Applicants are encouraged to acquaint themselves with Hafnarborg’s layout and spaces before submitting the proposal. The Art Council of Hafnarborg, alongside the Director, will review all proposals and select those that will move on to the second part of the application process.

Part 2

The curators, whose proposals were selected for further review, will be asked to present their ideas and provide additional materials, such as exhibition catalogues, illustrative material or videos, as well as working on a realistic budget plan for the project. The budget plan for the exhibition, including its preparation, is expected to be in keeping with the museum’s financial plan, otherwise being funded through special grants.

When reviewing the proposal, the following will be taken into special consideration:

  • Selection of artists.
  • Whether the exhibition introduces an innovative view of the arts, for example in relation to its context and/or media.
  • Whether the exhibition includes new or older works, or even a mixture of both.
  • Whether the exhibition has a special relevance to Hafnarborg, for example to its collection, its surroundings etc.
  • Whether the exhibition makes use of Hafnarborg’s exhibition space in a creative way.
  • The curators’ experience and CV (specifically seeking curators in the early stages of their career).
  • Suggestions for programming in connection with the exhibition (curatorial talks, artist talks, seminars etc.).
  • Ideas for a possible publication.
  • That the budget of the project is within reasonable limits (a more precise cost assessment will take place in the later part of the process).

Sketches of Hafnarborg’s floor plan can be found here. These are intended to be used as a guide, as it is not required that the curators design the exhibition to match the space precisely.


Please send all proposals via email to [email protected], with the subject “Autumn Exhibition 2021”. In response, we will send a message confirming that we have received the proposal, but we urge you to contact us at (354) 585 5790, if you do not receive said confirmation. Finally, all applicants will be kept informed about the status of their proposals, in due course. All results will be sent via email.

Further information is provided by the office of Hafnarborg at (354) 585 5790.