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Much of my work as a translator has been connected to the arts, whether through some of Iceland’s most prominent museums and galleries or for smaller institutions and individual artists. Recent clients include the Reykjavík Art Museum, i8 Gallery, the Living Art Museum, and the Factory in Hjalteyri. I have also been commissioned for translations by the Centre for Icelandic Art, Akureyri Art Museum, and the publisher Crymogea.

The vibrant visual arts scene in Reykjavík is precisely what compelled me to move there in 2007, having recently completed an MA in art history at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Alongside my own writing on local art and artists, I cut my teeth as a translator by collaboratively translating arts-related texts. Early major projects include the internationally distributed book Icelandic Art Today, for which I wrote four artists’ profiles and translated an additional 27 (with Anna Önfjörð); and A Retrospective: The Living Art Museum 1978–2008 (with Vilborg Ólafsdóttir), an extensive archival publication documenting one of Iceland’s most influential artist-run spaces. Further solo translations include interviews and essays in monographs on artists Eggert Pétursson, Sigurður Guðmundsson, and Einar Falur Ingólfsson.

Although I moved to London in 2018, I did so with Icelandic passport in hand, remaining deeply committed to personal and professional connections in the country I still consider a home. My recent translations are a rewarding outcome of my continued engagement with Iceland’s cultural sector. These include portions of monographs on celebrated artists Birgir Andrésson (In Icelandic Colours), Guðjón Ketilsson (Jæja), and Hekla Dögg Jónsdóttir (Null Island); the Living Art Museum’s edited volume Archive of Artist-Run Initiatives; and essays in Verksmiðjan – Dream Ruins, a publication on the history of the Factory in Hjalteyri.

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Shauna combines her excellent understanding of art history and theory with her sensitivity to linguistic nuance. She has extensive knowledge of the Icelandic art world, and she readily applies that knowledge in order to deliver polished and engaging work. A better collaborator would be hard to find.

—Jóhannes Dagsson, philosopher, visual artist, and Associate Professor at the Iceland Academy of the Arts

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