Loji, what’s an ordinary day like for you in 2023?
I’m the first one up in my family, so I start my day by making coffee for my spouse and I. I’m fortunate in that my studio is just across the hall from my apartment because I usually have a hard deadline reigning over me. I can usually squeeze in a few stitches before my spouse and son wake up and we eat breakfast together. If there has been a football match with Aston Villa during the week, I go through listening to 6 different Aston Villa themed podcasts while working on my art, all featuring the same match, same incidents and same results. Aston Villa is a passion of mine and it’s great to be able to engage in my two passions at the same time. I eat dinner with my family, my spouse and I take turns cooking dinner. After dinner I attend band practice with my cover band Bjartar Sveiflur or play a gig with them.
Your embroidery often depicts nature, everyday objects and food. How did this subject matter come about?
The short answer is that I’m fascinated by the everyday, the mediocre, and the parts of nature we don’t necessarily want to admit that are part of it. The long answer is that Icelandic art history is very young and the earlier artists tried to capture on a canvas what was Icelandic to them by painting impressive landscapes. On the other hand, I grew up in the city, so my nature includes weeds growing in places where they are not welcome. The everyday objects are very often designer objects in a mediocre setting, resembling the resilience of the Icelandic nation, as if we are saying “we might be poor but we at least own a designer vase”. And the food is very often the same reason as with the object. It’s usually not fancy food, unless it’s on a non-fancy plate. In general I’m trying to put things that we usually turn a blind eye at, on a pedestal, giving it more weight and space, bringing a healthy mix of nostalgia and quirkiness.
It’s fair to say you have many creative talents. Could you tell us how you manage to balance all your passions?
I wouldn’t be able to do any of these things without the patience of my spouse, Helga Páley. She is very supportive of all of my endeavors and a great resource of encouragement and fun ideas. I’m also very fortunate to be able to live off of my art. I’m not sure I would be able to balance my passions if I had to have even a part time job doing something else. As with my band mates, we keep an open conversation about when we can practice and what gigs we can play. So it’s all about conversations and time management.
If you could give your younger self one piece of advice:
Don’t take yourself so seriously. Have fun and relax a bit, it’s going to work out.
One ‘luxury’ you can’t live without?
I know it's horrible answer but the first thing that came to my mind was my subscription to the English Premier League in football.
Discover more of Loji amazing work via his Instagram : @loji.its.official