Halla Gunnarsdóttir is a visual artist who mostly works with sculpture and painting. Born and raised in Iceland she moved to Italy to study art and from there to New York where she did her M.F.A in figurative sculpture. Upon graduating in 2003 she was awarded the New York Academy of Art sculpture research fellowship. She also holds an MBA from Paris-Sorbonne University.
As well as working as a sculptor and painter she has worked as an art director for theater and received several nominations for the Icelandic Theater Awards, winning the award in 2011 for her design for the rock opera “Shockheaded Peter”. Halla has also worked as a teacher, giving workshops in portrait sculpture and the human figure, most recently at the Leith School of Art in Edinburgh, Scotland. In 2008 she participated in an art residency in Amman, Jordan designed to bring together European artists and artists from the Middle East with special focus on artists from Iraq who were residing in Amman as refugees. In 2009 Halla won a public competition held by the City of Reykjavík for a sculpture of Tómas Guðmundsson, an Icelandic poet. The sculpture was unveiled in the center of Reykjavík in December 2010.
In 2000 Halla travelled to Antarctica with a group of scientists, wildlife photographers and naturalists. During the trip she was able to do drawings of the animals, spending hours with them observing their behaviour. This experience became a major inspiration for her future work and her interest in environmental issues and conservation. In 2012 she spent six months in Indonesia, diving and trying out underwater photography. Much of her current work is inspired by her diving experiences, issues concerning endangered animals and animal rights. Halla is currently residing in Stockholm, Sweden where she has a studio.