Press Release

The world’s most northern regions are emerging as more important than ever before. Areas previously seen as peripheral are leading a societal transformation that will shape our common future. The exhibition Down North presents works by thirty contemporary artists from Canada, Denmark, Finland, the Faroe Islands, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and the United States, as well as from Sápmi and other indigenous nations in the Arctic regions. They explore the critical issues of our time and use art as a catalyst for change.



International exhibitions

International ongoing exhibitions

Down North, Contemporary Art in the Arctic

Bildmuseet, Umea (Sweden)

26.05.2023 - 14.01.2024




Today’s climate and environmental changes and a problematic colonial history have inspired works of art that address social, economic, political, and ecological challenges throughout the Arctics. Other works confront the illusion of the North as remote wilderness and challenge the romanticised notion of untouched land and its perceived homogeneity.

The exhibition traces shared experiences within the region through a wide range of works of art in different media, reflecting novel affinities and chasms within societies and among nations in the North Atlantic.

Participating artists: Ragnar Axelsson (Iceland), Jordan Bennett (Canada), Jason Brown/Firefly (US), Reggie Burrows Hodges (US), Christopher Carroll (US), Jóhan Martin Christiansen (Faroe Islands), Lauren Fensterstock (US), Gideonsson/Londré (Sweden), Julie Edel Hardenberg (Greenland), Joan Jonas (US), Jessie Kleemann (Greenland), Justin Levesque (US), Anna Líndal (Iceland), Meagan Musseau (Canada), Ann Cathrin November Høibo (Norway), Mattias Olofsson (Sweden), Frida Orupabo (Norway), Katarina Pirak Sikku (Sweden), Bita Razavi (Finland/Estonia), Joshua Reiman (US), Hans Rosenström (Finland), Máret Ánne Sara (Norway), Magnús Sigurdarsson (Iceland), Andreas Siqueland (Norway), Peter Soriano (US), Anders Sunna (Sweden), Superflex (Denmark), Snæbjörnsdottír/Wilson (Iceland/UK), D’Arcy Wilson (Canada), Arngunnur Ýr (Iceland).

Down North / Contemporary Art in the Arctic is organised by Bildmuseet, Sweden; Portland Museum of Art, US; and Reykjavik Art Museum, Iceland. Curators: Anders Jansson, Jaime DeSimone, and Markús Þór Andrésson.

The exhibition is supported by Eimskip, Region Västerbotten, the Icelandic Climate Fund, Nordic Culture Fund, Nordic Culture Point, and the Embassy of Canada to Sweden.

Exhibition 26 May 2023 - 14 January  2024. Bildmuseet, Umeå Arts Campus, Östra Strandgatan 30B - 903 33 Umeå (Sweden). T +46 90 786 74 00. Hours: Wednesday–Sunday 12–5pm.






Anders Sunna, Torne STYX, 2021. Courtesy of the artist. © Anders Sunna / Bildupphovsrätt 2023.  

Anders Sunna, Torne STYX, 2021. Courtesy of the artist. © Anders Sunna / Bildupphovsrätt 2023.   Down North, Contemporary Art in the Arctic, Bildmuseet, Umea, Sweden

© ArtCatalyse International / Marika Prévosto 2023. All Rights Reserved