Artist statement:

'Be what you want to see more of in the world' they said, and I morphed into an abundance of softness and care. Flowing around, caressing the sharp edges and pointy corners of the rigid, precise, man-made structures rising from the organic, every growing nature. I became all the colors that I missed, the playfulness and imperfections. I became all the feminine ways I was taught to hide. I stepped into the vulnerability and allowed myself to cry. I became the beauty and the dreams, I became the hug that I needed, the mother I always longed for. I became the craft my grandmothers taught me, the ones they used to tell them wasn’t really art.

My work is fluid, flowing and ever growing – like the moss and the cell and sea. Unlike the strictness of our societies, with unspoken and spoken rules and rectangular buildings, with rectangular doors and rectangular windows. I choose the colors I was told were too girly and I embroider like my grandma taught me. They used to tell her that that wasn’t really art. I write emotional words and hang my tears up for everyone to see. They used to tell me to try to hide them the best I could. I paint the body of the woman and leave the objectification by the door. I capture my abstractness with threads and colors, pastels and papers; my feelings, my thoughts. I work from a state of intuition and beauty, but they always want me to justify everything.

In my work I explore the human experience in a modern society. Especially the experience from a woman’s perspective, as that is my own. Our longing for belonging in an increasingly isolating capitalist society. Our own emotional navigation in times of destigmatizing old taboos. Our self-centred awareness as a possible impact from our growing atheism. Our bodies as a living, breathing, changing entity, without the objectification and sexualisation. Our need for beauty and care in a fast paced, harsh world.


Júlíanna Ósk Hafberg with an installation of unfinished oil paintings


Júlíanna Ósk Hafberg (b. 1992) is a visual artist based in Reykjavík, Iceland. She graduated with a MFA from the Iceland Academy of the Arts in June 2023. In her studies she became even more familiar with her works and their social and historical placement within the contemporary art scene and the current landscape of our society. Being alive and working in the fourth wave of feminism, Júlíanna is able and chooses to take a softer approach on the more harsh subjects of the movement, including her own experience as woman in a man/masculine shaped world. 

Júlíanna is unafraid to explore and practice playfulness, which is prominent through her curious approach to mediums and materials. Along with her main chosen mediums, the painting and textiles, she has been known to create works through woodworking, glass cutting, drawing, sculptures; plaster and ceramics, as well as through poetry and installations. 

Her background spans widely, but Júlíanna has a Degree from the Enterprising Leadership school Kaospilot in Aarhus, Denmark (2016-2019), where through her three year studies she studied and practiced leadership, project and process management, event and experience design and teamwork. 
Previously she has a BA degree in Fashion Design from the Icelandic Academy of the Arts (2013-2016), where she had a special interest in textile - which encouraged her semester abroad at the Kolding Design School (2015), with emphasis on solely on textile. 

CV available upon request. 


Selected exhibitions: 

2023 - Díalógur - Iðnó

2023 - Ceremony/Athöfn - The Living Art Museum, Reykjavík

2023 - Hringiða//Whrilwind - Rýmd (solo)

2022/2023 - Ég Býð Mig Fram, Nýr Heimur - Tjarnarbíó

2022 - Júlíanna Ósk Hafberg - open studio/gallery, Bankastræti 12 (solo)

2022 - Einars Jónsson Museum

2022 - Feelings Served; table for one - Núllið Gallerí (solo)

2021 - Gallerí Heima; á Ránargötu 12 (solo)

2021 - Spark Plugs, Listaháskóli Íslands 

2021 - Concrete/Steypa - Verksmiðjan á Hjalteyri 

2021 - 21 Artists - MUTT Gallerí 

2021 - Hitt og þetta og allt og ekkert - Núllið Gallerí (solo)

2020 - Sóttqueen - Postprent, Ásmundarsalur 

2019 - Nakedness - Coocoo’s Nest (solo)

2015-2016 – One outfit one year – a year long activistic endurance performance challenging our consumeristic behaviour when it comes to clothing