Closed Enough

Wed – Sat, 12 – 5pm

Preview 29 November, 5 – 8pm


Closed Enough is an exhibition of nine artists based in or associated with Iceland. The exhibition was conceived by Icelandic artist Una Björg Magnúsdóttir and Newcastle-born Joe Keys, who emigrated to Iceland in 2018, and is curated by Mark Rohtmaa-Jackson, who has recently relocated to Iceland from Gateshead. It features work by artists at different stages of their careers who have all exhibited frequently in Iceland.

The exhibition has been evolving between all those participating, through meetings both online and in person, and the title, Closed Enough, is a play on the feeling of distance and closeness. It speaks of a sensitivity towards the comforts and shelters that arise through the imposing influence of Iceland’s weather conditions, but also to a poetics of things within and out of reach, and the reorienting of things near at hand, a process similar to that described by Sarah Ahmed in her book, Queer Phenomenology. It also evokes how galleries and museums appear to place things out of reach, but how these things, through the sensibilities of their making, may still reach back to lives lived.

Alongside the exhibition the artists have made a series of lithograph prints produced by Hole Editions, a fine art collaborative printmaking workshop in Newcastle upon Tyne which specialises in stone lithography. It is also accompanied by a catalogue of artists’ statements, images, and diverse writings written and edited in Iceland, then printed and bound in the UK by Newspaper Club, a printing company based in Glasgow. The catalogue, designed by Chris Petter Spilde, is a document associated with the exhibition, and although it will be informative, an emphasis will be placed on the book as an extension of the exhibition, where imagery and text can live beyond the duration of the exhibition.

With work by Halla Einarsdóttir, Logi Leó Gunnarsson, Eygló Harðardóttir, Brák Jónsdóttir, Joe Keys, Martha Lyons Haywood, Una Björg Magnúsdóttir, Amanda Riffo and Ingibjörg Sigurjónsdóttir.


Orbis Community 65 High Street Gateshead NE8 2AP

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30 November—16 December 2023


  • Wed 12 – 5pm
  • Thu 12 – 5pm
  • Fri 12 – 5pm
  • Sat 12 – 5pm
  • One step access to front door: portable ramp available

Selected Works

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