Everything started with a story: A friend in Skagaströnd told us about a conversation she overheard – a sculptor was worried about his driftwood supply. He had noticed that less and less of it washed ashore and was afraid that Russian loggers simply didn‘t lose wood anymore. He was told that he shouldn‘t worry about it as, due to climate change, the melting pack ice in the Arctic would increasingly release driftwood embedded there for decades or even centuries and his driftwood supply should last at least throughout his lifetime.
Until then, we had wandered Icelandic beaches and admired the beauty of driftwood, but taken it for granted – not wondering, where it came from or how it arrived on the shores. This story, however, inspired us and we started our research, encouraged by the many driftwood enthusiasts from Iceland and abroad we encountered on our journey. The aim of our project „Rekaviður“ is to raise awareness for climate change in the Arctic region via the journey of driftwood, for the importance of afforestation for climate mitigation as well as for driftwood‘s vital role in Iceland‘s history and culture. The travelling exhibition is associated with a project website providing more background information and a documentary film about our driftwood research.
„Rekaviður“ is also an invitation for everyone to engage in the craft of making driftwood objects and to contribute to afforestation for climate mitigiation. We would love to encourage you to become involved in the century-old tradition of making objects from driftwood such as cutting boards, hangers, key holders, spoons, bowls or even tables – there are no limits to your imagination! If you don‘t want to keep your self-made treasures but prefer to sell them, you are encouraged to donate a share of the profits to support afforestation projects. Let‘s grow together!
Ines Meier studied photography at the University of Fine Arts in Braunschweig and at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-arts in Paris. She is the project coordinator of the New School for Photography in Berlin and works as a journalist and artist.
Inka Dewitz is a filmmaker and works for the Heinrich Böll Foundation on international food policy. She studied international agricultural and development policy at the Humboldt University Berlin and production at the Filmhaus Köln/HFF Babelsberg. She worked for the BBC World Service and produced award-winning documentaries.
Together, we run the Berlin based production platform and collective Lichtung that focuses on environmental projects.