A poetic story with a surprising punch line.

At the beginning there is a quote and a portrait of the girl. They provide the key to the content – the Icelanders’ mystical belief in the “huldufólk” (eng. Hidden people). Invisible beings who are said to be responsible for the harmonious coexistence of people and nature.

Leaf by leaf we explore Iceland in search of mystical symbols. We immerse ourselves in a world of gloomy landscapes, poor animal life and remote human settlements. It is completely unclear where to look for the hidden people and whether the strange patterns and mysterious symbols are to be interpreted as metaphors or as clues.

We don’t really get to see the Icelanders themselves in the main part of the book, apart from a few photos on the walls. We can sense their presence in their homes, harbors and farms. They remain hidden until the end. This is followed by pairs of images in which heads are linked with visually similar fragments of nature. This association visualizes the Icelandic people’s closeness to nature. The faces are turned away from the viewer, the gaze turned inward. This suggests that the hidden people could be found in their minds, or maybe they are that people themselves.

Conclusion: In order to understand the archaic belief of the Icelanders, you need imagination. The viewer gains access to imaginary realities through his own personal interpretation.

The photo project originates from my two-month stay in an artist residency in spring 2017 in a remote location in northern Iceland. While Iwona Knorr was investigating the background of the intimate connection between people and their natural environment, her results condensed into a hypothesis: Fears of unpredictable natural forces, to which Icelanders are permanently exposed in their living space, can be compensated by trusting protective supernatural forces. A prerequisite for this is a respectful treatment of the environment.

Format21 x 28 cm
Paperstyle200g Circle Offset Premium white
Number of Copies35 (Collector Edition, signed, numbered, FineArt print included)
Price85.00 €
Printing HouseRügen Druck GmbH Putbus
Art-DirectorIwona Knorr
LayouterIwona Knorr
PhotographyIwona Knorr
EditorsFrank Dürrach, Fotoakademie Köln

Find Iwona Knorr online

More Articles for You

13 by Lukas Dvorak

13 is a collection of Lukas Dvorak’s fine art nude photography that he took over the last 13 years. The …

CRAFT WERK 4 Issue 1 by Rüdiger Spieler

The first magazine by Rüdiger Spieler. A fineart print with 70 pages in high quality print on 170 gsm matt …

BROKEN BODY by Erik Schlicksbier

The Broken Body series is about the discrepancy between our human shell, which is often seen as strong but is …


BEYOND STARLIGHT is a nearly twelve-year documentation of a traveling family circus. Since the first encounter in 2008, Petra Arnold …

PEOPLE AT WORK by Günter Weber

Günter Weber has been working on his project PEOPLE AT WORK for about 1.5 years. A project in which he …

EXXPOSED – Issue 4 by Martin Hirsch & Andre Franck

The fourth issue of the new photo magazine EXXPOSED about human photography. EXXPOSED is published quarterly and contains images of …