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Lefteris Yakoumakis’ Insightful Drawings: An Icelandic Tale

Lefteris Yakoumakis’ Insightful Drawings: An Icelandic Tale

Picture of Margarita Akritidou
Updated: 18 December 2016
Tucked among steep mountain walls of a narrow fjord on Iceland’s northern coast, the quiet fishing village of Siglufjörður is the inspiration for Greek-born painter Lefteris Yakoumakis. His memories and experiences of life in Northern Iceland found their way in the newly published 55 Ways to Pronounce the Word Siglufjörður, a collection of earnest drawings, short stories and essays that is both ‘art-book and travel literature.’

Having specialized in painting at the School of Fine Arts of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Yakoumakis creates art that is socially conscious, in defiance at the modern, over-consumption habits in our way of living, and its shattering effect on the natural environment. The natural environment he chooses to represent, can be particularly experienced in his native Greece and adopted Iceland. His often whimsical and visually provoking drawings of humans, animals and landscapes reflect his ability to intuitively sense and denounce with his brush or pencil, our society’s darker side of what seems to be, and what really is.


Yakoumakis arrived in Siglufjörður in December 2010 as the guest artist of the Herhúsið artist-in-residence program, and regularly revisits the town to live and work in its fishing industry. His last stay in 2013 inspired a series of 55 drawings, short stories and essays that were collected in an unusual publication under the intriguing title 55 ways to pronounce the word Siglufjörður.


In this collection, Yakoumakis aspires to tell the story of this remote Icelandic town by capturing his experiences in moments of everyday life, impressions of the stunning northern Icelandic nature and his understanding of local legends. More importantly,55 Ways to Pronounce the Word Siglufjörður is the artist’s inquisitive look into the locals’ idea of identity and ethos vis à vis the natural resources characteristic of Yakoumakis’ social and environmental sensitivity.


Yakoumakis’ art work has been exhibited in Greece, Iceland and New York, and has been appreciated for its honest and perceptive outlook. 55 Ways to Pronounce the Word Siglufjörður is currently sold in selected bookshops in Greece and Iceland. Find out more about Lefteris Yakoumakis on Tumblr or at his website