The research and practice-based MA in Fine Art programme at IUA emphasizes the dialogical relationship of making, thinking and writing, in the development of artworks. Research-based study at MA level provides the basis for sustainable practice, as exercised through conceptual and practical acts of making. By testing these relationships and by doing so in multiple contexts, each individual artistic enquiry is correspondingly deepened, expanded and empowered, enabling artists extended choice in where and how their work is experienced and in the way each positions him/herself as a contemporary artist today.


The MA academic staff all engage in their own research and practice.


Bryndís Snæbjörnsdóttir - Professor and MA programme director

Bryndís Snæbjörnsdóttir works collaboratively in her art practice with the artist Mark Wilson. Their art practice is research based and socially-engaged, drawing energy and inspiration from human and interspecific ecologies manifest in particular sites, habitats and environments. Their artwork has been exhibited internationally and they have, delivered papers at key conferences on art within animal studies worldwide. One of their art projects nanoq: flat out and bluesome an artist survey of stuffed polar bears in the UK has toured widely in Europe since 2006 and is together with the process archive for this project part of an international museum art collections. Their artworks have amongst other been exhibited as part of the international Biennials, Gothenburg (2011) and the 5th Moscow Biennial (2013). They are currently PolarLab artists in Residence with Anchorage Museum, Alaska and were Research Fellows at the Centre for Art + Environment, Nevada Museum of Art (2013-2015).


Their work is installation based, using text, sound, photographic and video-based media. For more information on their work and research see:

Bryndís Snæbjörnsdóttir graduated with an MFA from Glasgow School of Art (1995) and completed a PhD at Akademin Valand, Gothenburg University in 2009. She was a Professor at Akademin Valand (2009-2014) and a PhD supervisor (2010-2015). From 2015-2017 she was an adj. professor at Malmö Art Academy, Lund University. Since 2016 she has been a Professor in Fine Art and an MA programme director at Iceland University of the Arts and a guest professor at Institute of the Arts, University of Cumbria, U.K.


Hildur Bjarnadóttir – associate Professor

In her work Hildur Bjarnadóttir investigates issues of belonging, ecology, place and cohabitation with animals and plants on a small piece of land in the south of Iceland where she lives and works. The plants on the piece of land function as recording devices which take in information from the ecological and social systems they belong to through the soil and the air. Bjarnadóttir makes this information visible by extracting color from the plants which she uses to dye wool thread and silk fabric to make woven paintings and large scale silk installations. Her work brings forward diverse information, experiences, viewpoints and elements of the land, they are autonomous subjective systems which shed light on an intricate net of cohabitation and belonging.
Hildur Bjarnadóttir lives and works in Reykjavík and Flóahreppur. She graduated from the textile department of The Icelandic College of Arts and Crafts in 1992 and finished her MFA degree from the fine arts department in Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York in 1997. In 2009, she completed a diploma in Arts Education from the Iceland Art Academy. Autumn 2013 she started working on her Ph.D. in fine arts at the Bergen Academy of Art and Design which she completed in February 2017. Hildur has held many solo exhibitions internationally and in Iceland including: 2017; Cohabitation at the Trondelag Senter for Samtidskunst, 2016; Ecosystem of Color at The Reykjavík Art Museum, Kjarvalsstaðir, Colors of Belonging in Bergen Kjøtt, Norway, 2015; Subjective Systems in Kunstnerforbundet in Oslo and Mapping a Piece of Land in Hverfisgallery, and 2014; Flora of Weeds in Hallgrímskirkja, Reykjavík.


Jóhannes Dagsson – Lecturer and MA theory director

Jóhannes Dagsson is a philosopher and a visual artist. He holds a PhD in philosophy from the University of Calgary (2012). His research takes place at the intersection of philosophy of mind, philosophy of language and aesthetics. Questions surrounding perception and meaning in the context of art define his research. Jóhannes uses his research in his teaching, publications, and his visual art.
Jóhannes Dagsson “Sköpun, kerfi og reynsla”. Hugur, bls. 163-179. 2017 (in icelandic)
Jóhannes Dagsson, Málverk –ekki miðill/ Painting –Not a Medium. Hafnarborg, 2017.
Jóhannes Dagsson, Gunnar Andreas Kristinsson og Tinna Þorsteinsdóttir “Mörk”, Cycle listahátíð, Kópavogi. Flutt 5. September, 2017.




The department of Fine Art at the Iceland Academy of the Arts is an active participant in International collaboration. The Department already has an agreement with over thirty European Universities as part of Erasmus/Socrates educational programme as well as having through Fulbright connections to art departments in the States. As part of Nordplus the fine art department is part of KUNO, the collaboration network of seventeen art schools í the Nordic and the Baltic countries. The collaboration supports teachers- and student exchanges as well as collaborative projects. The department of Fine Art at IAA has also established a variety of collaborative projects with other Universities and Art Institutions in Iceland. As an example, the Department has collaborated closely with the programme of Art history and Theory at the University of Iceland leading amongst other to collaborative exhibitions in respected Museum and Cultural Institutions.
Examples of collaborative projects:
· Talk-series: Is a collaboration between the Reykjavík Art Museum, the Icelandic Art Centre and the department of Fine Art at IAA. The focus is on creating a platform in Iceland for an establishing international network and discussion through series of lectures by internationally established artistscurators and theoreticians.
· Verksmiðjan Hjalteyri Studio: This is a collaboration between the department of Fine Art at IUA and the Verksmiðjan at Hjalteyri an art venue in the North of Iceland. The emphasis is on responding to the local environment and the factory building of Verksmiðjan Hjalteyri.
· The National Gallery of Iceland - Museum of Sigurjón Ólafsson: The MA programme in collaboration with the Programme of Art History and Theory at the University of Iceland work on a site specific project at the Museum of Sigurjón Ólafsson which is part of the National Gallery of Iceland. The MA students in Fine Art make art in response to the context of the Museum and curated by the students in Art History and Theory.