Eyes as Big as Plates is the ongoing collaborative project between the Finnish-Norwegian artist duo Riitta Ikonen and Karoline Hjorth. Starting out as a play on characters from Nordic folklore, Eyes as Big as Plates has evolved into a continual search for modern human’s belonging to nature. The series is produced in collaboration with retired farmers, fishermen, zoologists, plumbers, opera singers, housewives, artists, academics and ninety year old parachutists. Since 2011 the artist duo has portrayed seniors in Norway, Finland, France, US, UK, Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Sweden, Japan and Greenland. Each image in the series presents a solitary figure in a landscape, dressed in elements from surroundings that indicate neither time nor place. Here 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, these seniors encourage the rediscovery of a demographic group too often labelled as marginalized or even as a stereotypical cliché. It is in this light that the project aims to generate new perspectives on who we are and where we belong.

Eyes as Big as Plates is currently touring with the Norwegian National Museum and has previously been shown at Fotogalleriet (Oslo), Pioneer Works (NYC), Shoot Gallery (Oslo), The Museum of Contemporary Arts Kiasma, NADA Miami, Art Toronto, The Nordic House (Reykjavik), The Finnish Institute in Oslo, Paris and Stockholm, Tetley Brewery (Leeds), Seibu Shibuya (Tokyo), Villa Borghese (Rome), Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts (Nebraska US), Bogota International Photo Biennale (Colombia), gallery FACTORY in Seoul Korea, Finlandia University Gallery (Michigan US), The Nordic House (Faroe Islands), The National Museum of Greenland, amongst others. The next stop for the series will be in Greenland and Korea this autumn. The project was published as a book in August 2017 (Press Publishing) and is available from this website. In September 2017 it was shortlisted for the Paris Photo / Aperture Foundation – Photobook Awards 2017, as one of 20 books from nearly 1000 entries in the ‘First Photobook’ category.

All the works are for sale in the following two editions: 120 x 100 cm (edition of 7 + 2 AP) and 60 x 50 cm (edition of 10 + 2 AP). Please get in touch for more information:

mail@riittaikonen.com / www.riittaikonen.com karoline.hjorth@gmail.com / www.karolinehjorth.com

The Eyes as Big as Plates book is available from our website and in great bookstores including Artbook @MoMA PS1, Printed Matter (NYC), The Kiasma Shop (Helsinki), Nide (Helsinki), Fotogalleriet (Oslo), Tronsmo (Oslo), Norli (Oslo), Tanum (Oslo), Kunsthall Grenland (Porsgrunn), Gallery FACTORY (Seoul), NevaBooks (Sweden) amongst others.

 © Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

© Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen


  1. Pingback: Eyes as Big as Plates in residence // New York « Eyes as Big as Plates

  2. Every ten-fifteen years I see something that really impress me in the art World. Now I got two new idols….

    • karolinehjorth

      Wow! Ingemark -that is fabulous news! We love being your new idols and will strive to keep up to the job!

      Thank you!

      All our best,

      Riitta and Karoline.

  3. Ladies, I connected immediately to your work when I saw it posted on Facebook. I am a Finn-american and totally understand your sense of humor and nature. LOVE that you are working with seniors. Keep up the great work!

    • karolinehjorth

      Thank you so much Paula! We have been told that the series has been going viral on Facebook, and is living its own life online – exciting! And how wonderful that you appreciate our work, thank you so much!

      All our best,

      Karoline and Riitta.

  4. You may wish to consider bringing your show to the Swedish Institute in Minneapolis! They would love it!

  5. Joe

    all I have to say is.. dette er brillefint!! 🙂
    mye elsker,
    joe fra canada

  6. So sensitive and kind! Thank you!

  7. wonderful work — rich and resonant without taking itself too seriously. well done!

  8. I LOVE these. Are there chances to buy prints..etc?

    • karolinehjorth

      Dear Bea (?), we are very happy to hear that you like our project! All the images in the series are for sale in two different sizes, 120 x 100 cm and 60 x 50 cm. Feel free to get in touch with us if you are interested: karoline.hjorth@gmail.com

      All our best,

      Riitta and Karoline.

  9. Hi, I’m gonna go ahead and second Aisling, above. Your work is awesome.

  10. Eileen Ryan

    Fantasticl photos of nature transforming beautifully. Thank you for creating n sharing your art. Happy Spring, y’all!

  11. Pingback: Bizarre Yet Delightfully Whimsical Photos of Old People Wearing Vegetation | Jeannie Huang

  12. Such a rich palate in an older face- love it

  13. Julieann

    How can we buy prints?

  14. oralaboramontreal

    Your photographs are good for heart and soul, and are so beautiful ! Montreal would love to receive your exhibition 😉

    Same question as Julieann: how can we buy prints ?

    • karolinehjorth

      Thank you very much! We would love to come to Montreal once too! I have sent you and Julieann an email regarding the prints.

      All the best,
      Karoline + Riitta

  15. Duncan Porter-Zuckerman

    Your work is great! I really like your images. They are so engaging. You must be familiar with the work of Sacha Goldberger and his grandmother, Mamika? His work is so very different than yours, and yet, there is some kind of connection. I am so pleased to see your work. Thanks!

    • karolinehjorth

      Dear Dunkan, Sorry for our late response, but thank you very much for your lovely feedback! & Sacha Goldberger’s Mamika series is GREAT!

  16. Pingback: Eyes as Big as Plates – Riitta Ikonen et Karoline Hjort | Salle des machines

  17. Rosemary Heiman

    Is there a book for sale or a place we can view the images that are for sale?

    • karolinehjorth

      Dear Rosemary, thank you very much for your request, and sorry for our tardy response. If you would like to send us an email (either to karoline.hjorth@gmail.com or mail@riittaikonen.com), we would be happy to send you a list of works and prices. We are in the planning and funding stages of an upcoming publication too, and hope to get it into production in 2014, fingers crossed!

      All our best,

      Riitta and Karoline.

  18. A blogger described the show she saw in Finland as “Old Finnish People with Things on Their Heads” and beautiful images from your first show are now circulating on Facebook, imagur and elsewhere under that title with *no links.* I was so appalled at her remarks I went looking. Thank you for this work, sorry bout the cretins.

    • karolinehjorth

      Thank you for hunting us down, I’m glad you found us. The internet is indeed a wild place when it comes to crediting!

  19. Sarah Granskou

    Hello Karoline og Riita:

    Fantastisk!!!Eg er en etablerte Kanadisk folkemusikker og forteller/poet/dokketeater “performance artist” med Skaninaviske (storst sett Norsk) tradisjon some utgangspunktet. Eg odde i Norge noen ar som voksne. Nu for tiden er eg “folk-artist-in-residence” at a local museum. I am giving a performance and slideshow this week-end, featuring some images of my inspiration, including my time with the Sami and working on Norwegian farms. I am hoping to use your images in the slidewshow including the cover page with your names etc and some quotes from Riita’s website, if this is ok.


    Sarah Granskou
    Canadian-Norwegian Scald

    • karolinehjorth

      Dear Sarah,

      Thank you for your lovely message and we are ever so sorry for this incredibly late reply! We haven’t seen this message until now, but we hope your performance went great! Fun to hear about your background too!

      Warmest greetings from Riitta and Karoline.

  20. T

    Writing from West Virginia, USA. Also saw your photos on Facebook. What a gift you have. Thank you for bringing joy to my day! Must bring your exhibit to Washington D.C.

  21. Fantastic, original pictures ! I would like to have an interview with both of you for an article of université de Montreal student in journalism magazine, Le reporter. I hope to talk to you next week. You should come to Montreal.

  22. URGENT: We have been trying to contact you in order to make a partnership for the EEAGRANTS fund in a social and cultural project in Portugal. We tried to call you and sent email through “info@academiacidada.org”. Hope to hear from you soon.

    • karolinehjorth

      Dear João and the Citizenship Academy,
      We are very sorry we did not respond to your request early enough, but in the end we pulled out from the EEAGRANTS projects due to time limitations. We do hope you found some great collaborators to work with and wish you all the best with the project!

      Best regards,
      Riitta and Karoline.

  23. Isabel

    Hi Riitta and Karoline!

    Your work is amazing! Are there any possibilities to buy some prints?

    My very best,

    • karolinehjorth

      Dear Isabel, thank you very much for your email and sorry for our late reply! All the works from Eyes as Big as Plates are for sale in the size of 50 x 60 cm (edition of 10 + 2 artist proofs) and 100 x 120 cm (edition of 7 + 2 artist proofs). You are very welcome to send us an email for more details: karoline.hjorth@gmail.com or mail@riittaikonen.com.

      Warmest greetings from Riitta and Karoline.

  24. I hope you get to show this beautiful work in Australia – or I’ll just buy a plane ticket and visit you!
    Such lovely work – thank you!

    • karolinehjorth

      Thank you very much Wendy! We would very much love to come to Australia to photograph and to show the work, that would be fantastic!

      Very best,
      Riitta and Karoline

  25. Love your work! Do you have a website, fb page to connect with!

  26. Jean Lebron

    I love Nature and love what you have done and what you are doing. Keep it up 🙂

    • karolinehjorth

      Dear Jean,

      Thank you for your lovely message! We are trying to do a book of the series these days and have just launched a Kickstarter campaign where we are trying to raise funds to print an international book publication of the complete works to date. Perhaps this would be something of your interest? We would highly appreciate your support, and we would be very grateful if you would help us spread the word to friends or contacts you think might want an Eyes as Big as Plates book!

      Our best regards from Oslo and New York,
      Karoline and Riitta.

      Here is the link with all the information:

      Many grateful bows and warmest greetings to you from Oslo and New York,
      Karoline & Riitta.

  27. Pingback: The supernovas of Malešice | Eyes as Big as Plates

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