Pike Ward (1856-1937), originally from Teignmouth in Devon, was a fish merchant in Iceland in the late 19th and early 20th Century and became a hugely important figure in the birth of modern Iceland. During his time in Iceland, he became very fond of the ragged nature and hospitable locals, spending extensive time travelling, collecting artefacts, learning the local language and becoming integrated into Icelandic culture and daily life. He was the first person to pay Icelandic fishermen in cash rather than by barter and as such had a significant impact on the development of commercial fishing in Iceland. In 1936 his contribution was recognised in Iceland and he was awarded the Grand Cross of the Icelandic Falcon, the highest award a civilian can receive in the country.
In the late 1940’s the National Museum of Iceland acquired some of his artefacts who have been preserved and stored in the Museum but it was the discovery of his diaries and photographs in 2016 by Katherine Findlay at the Devon Archives that sparked a renewed interest in the story of Pike Ward and in late 2019 an exhibition of his photographs is planned at the National Museum of Iceland. To compliment the exhibition Einkofi Production and the NATUR project have invited UK based experimental film maker Chris Paul Daniels to create a new piece inspired by the story of Pike Ward, his artefacts, his photography and general impact on Icelandic society.
Chris Paul Daniels is an Artist and Filmmaker, with his work being characterised by experimental documentation of communal perspectives and memories regarding geographical location.
He graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2010 and co-won the Deutsche Bank Award for Art with Maria Anastassiou for Unravel, the longest hand painted film in Britain. This project resulted in one hundred public events across the UK including Tate Britain, BFI Southbank, Turner Contemporary and IKON Gallery and in December 2016, Unravel undertook a residency at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. His work is regularly screened internationally and he has created work in and about Kenya, China, Iceland, Sweden and the Netherlands.
Recent commissions include ‘SAFE’ at HOME in Manchester, ‘A Tigers Skin’ at CFCCA, and ‘One Square Mile’ for Quays Culture (with Sam Meech). Screenings include the ICA, Hong Kong Arts Centre, Maxxi, Winnipeg Underground Film Festival and Flatpack Film Festival. His most recent film ‘Northern Lights’ is a co-commission between ICA Art, Screen Network and Grundy Art Gallery.