January 17 - February, 28

Joakim Eskildsen

Nordic Signs

The Puffins, 1993

After Home Works in 2013, Polka Galerie is proud to present a new exhibition of Joakim Eskildsen’s work. Nordic Signs, a series produced between 1989 and 1994, is a poetic reflection on the inherent qualities of lands ruled by the elements. The Danish photographer traveled through Northern Europe, especially Norway, Scotland, Denmark, Sweden, Iceland and the Faroe Islands, hoping to put forward nature’s strength and the relationship it builds with those who inhabit it. A mystic and ethereal atmosphere transpires from these contemplative images, filled with mysterious codes.


“I think that I managed to capture here the meaning of the Nordic Signs, something that is at the same time wild yet livable, and profoundly shaped by the climate, the wind, and destiny.” Joakim Eskildsen.


This series of photographs is the artist’s first long term project and marks the beginning of his collaboration with the Swedish poet Cia Rinne, who later became his wife.


Nordic Signs is a contrasted succession of photographs, where we can already appreciate Eskildsen’s mastery of light. “I’m very inspired by the way Renaissance painters render light, this way they have to make light seem real when it is merely a fragment of their imagination. In my own work, I like to have the same creative freedom.” Joakim Eskildsen.


Born in 1971 in Copenhagen, Joakim Eskildsen studied photography at the prestigious University of Art and Design of Helsinki – now known as the Helsinki School – under the mentorship of Finnish photographer Pentti Sammallahti. Eskildsen has published four critically acclaimed books, including Nordic Signs (1995), now out of print and sought after by collectors of rare books.