Reykjavík Botanic Garden

Program

Program: January 2024

January 20, 2024, 10:30am - 1pm

Playing with leaves: Art workshop for families

At the Reykjavik Botanic Garden's Display Greenhouse

In the art workshop, we will work with the leaves of plants. Special emphasis is placed on studying leaves with different media in printmaking, drawing and painting. A variety of diverse materials will be used that can be used in a creative way.
The art workshop provides the participants with the opportunity to activate their ideas in artistic creation at the same time as discussing the content of the exhibition "This deep green leaf color: Memories in color" which is currently being held in the Display Greenhouse at the Reykjavík Botanic Garden.
The art workshop is managed by Ásthildur Jónsdóttir.
Participation is free and everyone is welcome!

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January 2 - February 2, 2024, 10am - 3pm

Exhibit by Ásthildur Jónsdóttir in the display greenhouse –

This Deep Green Leaf Color: Memories in Color.

Ásthildur frequently works with installations that integrate participants' voices from selected locations. The 39 individuals who took part in the project, This Deep Green Leaf Color: Memories in Color, all have a unique connection to the Reykjavík Botanic Garden and its plants. Ásthildur's work is driven by a passion for nature, the environment, memories, values, and identity. The exhibit here in the Botanic Garden hinges on the connections between artist and interviewee, interviewee and observer, and artist and observer. Visitors are invited to engage with the exhibit by embroidering their own plant memories onto cloths provided in the space. With her art, Ásthildur aims to create an opportunity for people to pause and contemplate the conditions under which individuals can thrive harmoniously with their surroundings.

To have enriching conversations based on plant memories is a privilege. Talking about favorite plants often elicits a sparkle in the eyes of the person you’re speaking with. Participants spoke of plants as peers, discussing both the beauty of blooming flowers and the vitality of lush foliage. For them, plants are not mere decorations or commodities but are part of a strong bond built on empathy, respect, and gratitude. Some stories suggest that plants are silent teachers conveying resilience and adaptability, enacting a delicate dance of growth and decay. The idea of harmony and balance in the deep connections between humans and plants should be a guiding principle for all, as nurturing the green life around us, in turn, nurtures the core of our own existence. This understanding fosters the realization that we are part of something larger, an integral piece of an indivisible whole. It is through profound connections like these that true understanding of biota is formed.

The presentation is the artist's interpretation of the conversations about the 39 plants. Ásthildur chose the colors based on participants' descriptions, and certain distortions occurred in the journey from computer to printer. By also using a reverse tonal approach to black-and-white flower images, the artist subverts traditional highlights and shadows, making the plant appear foreign. This approach not only challenges conventional perceptions, it encourages viewers to reassess their understanding of the subject. It pushes viewers to see the plant in a new light, an attempt by the artist to transform a simple botanical description into a visual narrative.

Ásthildur Jónsdóttir holds a PhD in Visual Arts from the University of Lapland in Finland and in Educational Studies from the University of Iceland. http://astajons.com

 

Program 2023

You can see the events at the Botanic Garden in 2023 in this document:

Exhibitions

Climate Walk

Did you know the oldest plant at the Botanic Garden has sequestered carbon equivalent to the emissions of an average car over three months and 24 days?

The Climate Walk is an exhibit and guided tour through the Botanic Garden, discussing climate matters through the lens of the Garden's collection (the plants) and their habitats and roles in reducing climate threats.

This exhibit is sponsored by the Climate Fund and will continue until September 30, 2023.

The Explorer

The family-friendly Explorer walking tour here in the Botanic Garden is organized in collaboration with the Swedish Embassy in Iceland. We'll be stepping in the footsteps of the botanist Daniel Solander, born in Sweden in 1733. Daniel adored plants and studied them under the most renowned botanist of all time, Carl Linnaeus.

His passion for plants was so great he embarked on a lengthy sailing voyage around the globe, from Europe to South America, to the islands of the Pacific, and to Africa. Daniel embarked on a variety of adventures and also visited Iceland. It's been 250 years since Daniel arrived here and collected various Icelandic plants.

Now, you can try your hand at being an explorer like Daniel. A map of the walking tour is available at the entrance to Café Flóra. Follow the map and check out the signs at each location. The Explorer will be available until September 30, 2023.

Traveling exhibition on Crop Wild Relatives (CWR)

During the summers of 2022 and 2023, a traveling exhibition on crop wild relatives will travel around Iceland, funded by The Museum Council of Iceland. This exhibition is a joint Nordic collaboration with the Nordic Genetic Resource Centre (NordGen) and other Nordic institutions. The exhibition is in both Icelandic and English and will be in the Reykjavík Botanic Garden until June 6th 2022. Afterwards, it will travel the country and be at the Skagafjörður Heritage Museum in Glaumbær, Akureyri Botanic Garden, and in Vatnajökull National Park in Ásbyrgi.

Crop wild relatives are wild plant species that are ancestors or close relatives to cultivated crops. Unlike their domesticated relatives, they must survive wild in nature without human intervention. Climate change progression is putting increased pressure on agriculture. The changing environment requires new properties in modern crops to adapt them making the genetic diversity of crop wild relatives a crucial resource. Modern and future plant breeders can look to these wild varieties to find useful properties to breed new crop varieties.

In Iceland, the diversity of forage and berry plant species is particularly high, and you can find wheat relatives here along with meadow foxtail grass, blueberries, strawberries, and cumin.

Do you want a guided group tour of the Botanic Garden?

We warmly welcome school, professional, and social groups for custom-tailored tours all year round.

You can reserve your tour and get more information by calling 411-8650 on weekdays from 9am to 3pm or by emailing us.

Preschools and primary schools can book the following educational backpacks for on-site use:

  • Plant Backpack
  • Birdwatching Backpack
  • Biodiversity Exploration Backpack
  • Small Creatures Backpack (available May 15 - September 15)

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The Botanic Garden is an outdoor collection of living plants.

The Botanic Garden was founded in 1961 and is managed by Reykjavík City. The Garden exists to catalog and safeguard diverse flora for the dual objectives of academic exploration and public delight.

The Botanic Garden offers specialized curricula that cater to both lay audiences and educational institutions. These programs harness the wealth of our botanical collections to illuminate facets of environmental science, plant biology, wildlife ecology, garden artistry, ethnobotany, as well as to advocate for outdoor engagement and public health.

Hópur fólks að skoða blóm í Grasagarðinum

Café Flóra

Café Flóra presents sumptuous cuisine, accentuated by ingredients harvested from our own gardens. The Café is inside the Botanic Garden's display greenhouse, opens its doors for the summer season while embracing a winter hiatus.