5 May–29 Aug Eyes as Big as Plates at Barbican’s Our Time on Earth

5 May–29 Aug Eyes as Big as Plates at Barbican’s Our Time on Earth

Eyes as Big as Plates, a photography series about belonging to nature by Finnish-Norwegian artist duo Riitta Ikonen and Karoline Hjorth, will be on view at the Barbican as part of the Our Time on Earth exhibition.


The exhibition, created with guest curators Caroline Till and Kate Franklin, displays artistic dynamic responses to the climate emergency with perspectives spanning art, science, activism – and more. By bringing together actors from various fields, the exhibition highlights the need to work together across disciplines to tackle climate change together. The exhibition displays news ideas about the way we live, where technology brings us closer to nature, and indigenous insight reconnects us to our roots.

Alongside the main exhibition, Our Time on Earth will extend all over the Centre, including an installation in The Pit and free interactive and digital exhibits presented in the Barbican’s public spaces across the summer and will be accompanied by a live events programme. One of the side exhibitions is Riitta Ikonen and Karoline Hjorth’s photography series Eyes as Big as Plates. It is on view on Barbican’s Level G as one of a series of pieces that will be on display for free to the public.


Eyes as Big as Plates is an ongoing collaborative project that was launched in 2011. What started out as an exploration of depictions of characters from Nordic folklore has since evolved into a continual search for modern human’s belonging to nature. The images in the series present solitary figures in a landscape, dressed in elements from surroundings that indicate neither time nor place. In the images, nature acts as both content and context: characters literally inhabit the landscape wearing sculptures they create in collaboration with the artists.

As active participants in our contemporary society, the seniors photographed for the series encourage the rediscovery of an often marginalised demographic group. Through this, the project aims to generate new perspectives on who we are and where we belong, and what is the relationship between us and our environment.


Eyes as Big as Plates, 5 May–29 August as part of the Our Time on Earth exhibition. Entry free of charge, on view at level G of the Barbican Centre.

Our Time on Earth, 5 May 2022–29 August 2022. Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London EC2Y 8DS. For more information about the exhibition as well as opening times and ticket prices, see here.


Image: Eyes as Big as Plates # Ernst (Norway 2017) © Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

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