âSoul of a nationâ is an ongoing project by the Icelandic designer Gudrun Lilja Gunnlaugsdottir, a partner in the firm Studiobility. From objects as varied as a chair, a cabinet, a coffin, a broom, or a lamp, âSoul of a nationâ gives three-dimensional weight to the personalities of fellow Icelanders Gudrun has grown to know. The project began in 2004 with âVisual inner structure,â a chair representing a woman Gudrun characterizes as warm, strong, and selfless, though giving in such a way that she has lost much of herself.
At the end of January, she debuted a second piece in the series at ToolsGalerie in Paris. Titled âCuriosity Cabinet,â the design represents a farmer that she described thusly: âTo my mind, the farmer is solid, full of wisdom and full of personal treasures. Somehow, in conversations, he always has a way of looking at matters from many sides and pointing out aspects not noticed before.â
With 15 people chosen, and the forms they will take mapped out, the length of her project has largely been determined by the expense and complexity of the designs. Nevertheless, Gudrun is on a tight schedule; âSoul of a nationâ will be the subject of an exhibition at the Reykjavik Art Museum in 2009.