Artist Tjelda vander Meijden traveled to Reykjavik, Iceland for Art in Embassies in November, 2004 from the 15th through the 18th. Her visit was punctuated with lectures about her meditations on the veil, or burqa, as well as demonstrations of her artistic techniques.
Tjelda vander Meijden’s lecture on the veil was attended by many students of Women’s and Gender studies at the University of Reykjavik and by the students in the department of Social Studies and Law at University in Akureyri. This lecture was enhanced by a period of discussion as well as the fact that the artist brought a burqa and encouraged audience members to try it on. These lectures inspired provocative discussions about the West’s understanding of Islam and the meaning of being a covered Muslim woman.
The artist also provided Icelanders with technical demonstrations, in particular printmaking. One of the professors of Art Academy in Akureyri expressed concern that the lecture wouldn’t draw many attendees because of a decrease in popularity of the medium, but nonetheless a large group gathered to hear the artist speak. After the demonstration and lecture, students were able to experiment for themselves and found much enjoyment in the process.