Birgit's Garden

My Wondrous Journeys to the Faroe Islands

© Eija Mäkivuoti: Birgit ja poikansa #1, 2013 / Birgit med sina söner #1, 2013 / Birgit saman við synunum, 2013 / Birgit with her sons,   Ólavsøka, Tórshavn, 2013

© Eija Mäkivuoti: Birgit ja poikansa #1, 2013 / Birgit med sina söner #1, 2013 / Birgit saman við synunum, 2013 / Birgit with her sons, Ólavsøka, Tórshavn, 2013

Birgit's Garden is an art photography book by Eija Mäkivuoti. Through photographs and short texts, a multifaceted story is told about the Faroe Islands, a hidden place no one happens upon by chance. The Faroese see their islands as one of the last, untouched paradises on Earth. In the midst of the Atlantic Ocean, chiselled by nature's relentless forces, lives a people immensely proud of their country and its 1,000-year-old history.

Both photos and stories are the fruit of Eija’s long-term photo documentary work and projects in the Faroe Islands. The book’s photographs were taken between 2008 and 2014. Through these photographs and stories a somewhat different view of the Faroe Islands emerges, one that digs beneath the surface. It is at the same time both a ballad and a many-voiced travelogue, but it is also a tale about friendship, magical places, music and a spiritual home. These photos are interlaced with both serious and humorous micro-tales that give a deeper understanding of both the country and its culture.

The stories are written by Eija Mäkivuoti and people featured in the book. Through their stories, they bring their own voice to the photos. The texts are in Finnish, Swedish and Faroese. The book also includes an English translation of the texts.

Graphic design and layout are by the graphic designer Pia PettersonUrd Johannessen, who is from the Faroes, has written the epilogue. Petri Kuokka, who’s known for working with many award-winning Finnish photo books, has processed the photos. The book is made and printed in Finland and published by Sprotin, a Faroese publisher. The book was published in the Faroe Islands in July 2015 and in Finland and in Denmark in October 2015.

Eija Mäkivuoti (b. 1972) is a Helsinki-based photographic artist. She works with long-term photo documentary projects and in different cross-disciplinary art projects and groups. She also photographs live performative arts, such as music and performance art. Mäkivuoti holds a degree in photography from the Lahti Institute of Design (Lahti University of Applied Sciences) and she is also trained as a visual artist. Mäkivuoti is a member of the Photographic Artists’ Association in Finland.

Supporters The photo book has received funding from Nordic Culture Fund, The Swedish Culture Fund in Finland, Eugène, Elisabeth and Birgit Nygrén Foundation,  Tjaldur - the Friendship Association Finland-Faroe Islands, Letterstedt Association, Mentanargrunnur Landsins, Tórshavnar kommuna, crowd funding and the Nordic-Baltic Mobility Programme for Culture.

Cooperation partners Pia Pettersson, Petri Kuokka / Aarnipaja, Turid Nolsøe, Upp Við Hornunum.

Publisher in the Faroe Islands Sprotin.

Copyright & production Eija Mäkivuoti.

Printed in Finland Lönnberg. Helsinki, 2015.

ISBN 978-99972-1-146-0

128 pages; 105 colour photographs; 297 x 200 mm, hard cover (hand bound).

Languages: Finnish, Swedish and Faroese (with English translations of the texts).

Limited 1. edition.