Book Iceland



Gullkistan, Center for Creativity and Brooke Holve invite you to take part in a BOOK ARTS seminar in Iceland during the summer 2017.


Gullkistan was founded in 2009 by two artists, Alda Sigurdardottir and Kristveig Halldórsdottir, to provide a space to artists and scholars for their creative pursuits. It is an artist-run residency that has housed over 300 artists and international art student groups and additionally has hosted art festivals and seminars. It is located in the small town of Laugarvatn on the Golden Circle Road, close to its lake and hot springs and offers changing views of Hekla, one of Iceland’s noted volcanoes.

Brooke Holve

Brooke Holve lives and works in Sebastopol, California. This will be her fourth

trip to Iceland, a place that continues to inspire her. A visual artist for almost three decades, her probing work investigates culture, memory, place, language, time, and natural phenomena. She draws from a variety of mediums and makes installations, mixed media constructions, and artist books. Holve’s work has been exhibited in the U.S., New Zealand and Europe and is included in both private and public collections. More on and

For Whom?

Artists of all levels interested in exploring the book form and learning about Iceland, its book culture & history, weather, and diverse landscapes.


June 18 – 29, 2017.


12 participants.

Why Iceland?

It’s a rare visitor who is not touched by Iceland’s natural energies and diverse landscape. A wild island of the north with massive glaciers, is located on two tectonic plates with a fault line running at a oblique angle from its north to southwest. Energies of wind, fire and water below and above its surface shape the landscape, leaving unique textures and colors not seen elsewhere on this earth: glacier fields, lagoons, rumbling volcanoes, vast lava fields, moss covered and raw, contorted basalt walls, geysers, thermal pools, deep gorges and fjords. This land of extremes has also shaped its people and language. Steeped in a long history of isolation and hardship, the Vikings who first settled this island in the late ninth century, recounted their stories in folktales, poems, oral histories and song. Two centuries later, those sagas were captured in writing leaving handwritten that are treasured to this day. The Icelanders’ love for both their land and the book has inspired this seminar. Much of the substance of this workshop will come from books & place through ideas, materials, processes, tools, and structures.


Participants will:

Explore Ice- land’s varied landscape; look at how the natural processes have shaped the landscape and explore ways to express those energies through artistic experimentation.

Learn and explore two book structures: the Drumleaf  Binding  Book, a contemporary binding designed  to display artwork in a book format, and a Cover Book, a binding of book covers with a coptic stitch.


Sunday, June 18

Arrival in Iceland – stay one day in Reykjavík

Monday (morning), June 19

Meet in Reykjavik.Travel to Snæfellsnes National Park and visit volcano, glacier, caves, & villages of area. We will also visit the Roni Horn Library of Water installation.

Overnight: Stykkisholmur.

Tuesday, June 20

Reykholt and Laugarvatn. On way to Laugarvatn (home of Gullkistan), we will visit Reykholt, home of Snorri Sturluson (1178 – 1241), a chieftain and the most important medieval Ice- landic writer. We will also look at old Icelandic manuscripts.

Overnight: Laugarvatn.

Wednesday, June 21 – Friday, June 23

Laugarvatn, workshop & lecture on artists books with/by Brooke Holve and lectures by others on Icelandic arts and literature.

Saturday, June 24

Árnessysla area, Gullfoss Waterfall and the Geysers.

Sunday, June 25 – Tuesday, June 27

Laugarvatn, workshop with Brooke Holve.

Wednesday, June 28

Þingvellir National Park, Mosfellsbær, Reykjavík. We will visit the Halldór Laxness Museum and The Living Art Museum to view a collection of artist books by Dieter Roth. Overnight:  Reykjavik.

Thursday, June 29


How much?

3,950.00 US dollars.

What is included?

Presentation and daily  instruction by artist, Brooke Holve.

Most materials although you will be asked to bring some basic tools.

Lectures: When a  Book  Becomes an Artist Book, and Icelandic Arts & Literature

Sleeping accommodation in shared double/triple rooms with shared bathrooms. Upgrading to private rooms can be arranged. Working facilities.

Breakfast, lunch, afternoon snacks and dinner the entire stay except on your first day and the final dinner in Reykjavík (on the 18th and the 28th). Good wholesome food made from local ingredients.

All entrance fees to museums.

Transportation for overnight and day trips. For more details you may contact us at: English-speaking guides and assistants: Kristveig Halldórsdottir and Alda Sigurdardóttir, artists and owners of Gullkistan.

How to sign up?

Fill in the signup sheet on our web- site or write us:


A deposit of half the fee is due before February 15, 2017. Remaining balance is due on April 15th 2017.


Download (PDF, 1.07MB)

Apply: fill out the form please.