Dalir and Hólar 2010 / travel-drawings
The exhibition continues the 2008 and 2009 Dalir and Hólar exhibition projects insofar as it, too, is meant to engage with the life of the area, forge local collaborations, and offer exhibition guests a tour of this remote region. Yet it also continues a distinct international tradition in visual art, for what these artists wish to present may be called travel sketches, some form of record or narration of a journey—meditation, idea, actual travel—that portrays a journey and/or places visited. The exhibition thus partly follows in the spirit of the distinct tradition practiced by such artists as W.G. Collingwood and Ásgrímur Jónsson, both of whom sketched their travels in Iceland. Some artists who worked in this tradition made sketches as preparation for larger works; other artists were perhaps simply fixing a scene in memory, while for still others this was a profession: etchings were made from their sketches and printed in the newspapers of the 19th century or in travelogues pertaining to a country or region.
But in the art and literature of the 20th and 21st centuries, the meaning of ‘journey’ may be transposed: the journey in question may not be tangible but instead allude to a mental state or a displacement.
Breiðafjörður and Dalir have been home pasture to many artists, past and present, in childhood and during their life’s work. The vibrant natural setting, abundant animal life, culture, and history of the region still provide a deep wellspring for new work and innovation in the arts.
Curators: Thora Sigurdardottir, Kristinn Hardarson,
Helgi Thorgils Fridjonsson
Artists: Anna Gudjonsdottir, Anne Thorseth, Dagbjort D. Thorlacius, Helgi Thorgils Fridjonsson, Kristinn G. Hardarson, Kristin Runarsdottir, Thorri Hringsson.
Thw exhibition project Dalir og hólar is sponsored by:
West Iceland Culture Council, Iceland,
Westfjord Culture Council, Iceland,
The Assotiation of Olafsdalur, Iceland
Kultur Kontakt Nord, Scandinavia
Statens Kunstfond, Denmark
Dagbjört Drífa Thorlacius
For Dalir and Hólar 2010, Dagbjört Drífa Thorlacius has set off on a journey around the countryside—down familiar paths—to visit young farmers. Her journey takes place in the thick of lambing time, needless to say a season of brisk activity; her findings will make the material for her exhibition. The main impetus in Thorlacius’s work is the environment, in which she finds the individual most interesting: How do social conditions intertwine with the personal, and influence personal life? Can personal acts significantly affect personal reality? How do we experience the roles that we unwittingly or willingly assume? We shape ourselves according to our own assumptions and grapple with the world by weighing dominant social values. Dagbjört Drífa Thorlacius graduated from the Iceland Academy of the Arts in 2004 and received a teaching certificate from the Academy in 2006.
Anne Thorseth’s pieces in Dalir and Hólar 2010 are worked from sketches and photographs that she made during her walks around Breiðafjörður. Thorseth has been a frequent visitor to Iceland since 1994 and has incorporated the influence of its landscape and wide-open spaces into her work. Travel, in and of itself, and hiking in northern places, such as the highlands above Skarðsströnd, have been a rich source of material to Thorseth. She lives and works in Copenhagen and has been active on the Copenhagen art scene since completing her studies at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts; she exhibits regularly in Denmark and abroad. Anne Thorseth works with painting, drawing, photography, and spaces.
For Dalir and Hólar 2010, Anna Guðjónsdóttir created drawings based on travel guides and narratives of the Breiðafjörður, Dalir, and Reykhólar region. A native of Reykjavik, she lives and works in Hamburg, Germany. She studied at the University of Fine Arts of Hamburg, where her main advisor was Franz Erhard Walter. Anna Guðjónsdóttir was a founder of the Galerie für Landschaftskunst in Hamburg and has directed programs there for many years. She regularly participates in group exhibitions and has had solo exhibitions in Iceland and Europe.
Helgi Th. Friðjónsson
Helgi Thorgils Friðjónsson has created three projects for Dalir and Hólar 2010, which are as follows, in his words:
1. For every year, on the first weekend in May, I go sailing with Margrét Lísa Steingrímsdóttir, Gunnar Einarsson, and Sigríður Guðmundsdóttir, and nowadays also Birgir Snæbjörn Birgisson and Sigrún Sigvaldadóttir. Our aim is to have a good weekend and eat plenty of fresh-laid eggs, primarily goose eggs, fresh mussels and cod, dulse and kelp, which we take straight from nature, adding a little store-bought whiskey, beer, and wine. For all of us this trip is a happy time and the subject of much anticipation. I decided to bring along a sketchbook, to describe the trip, as in fact I have always done, though not so purposefully as now, for this exhibition.
2. I do a great deal of walking near the Kjallakstaðir farm, where I worked at haying for several years when I was young. Sometimes I act as a guide for tourists there. The farm next to Kjallaksstaðir, or Kjarlaksstaðir as it is better known, is Ytra-Fell, which was the home of bailiff Guðmundur Ólafsson during the summers I raked hay for my grandfather. Guðmundur was a good friend of my grandfather’s and in my childhood memories they are often laughing together, Guðmundur small and delicate-looking, my grandfather big and strong. I’ve been out walking around the ruins of the old farm at Ytra-Fell and recording them in my workbooks.
3. I have long intended to walk to church at Skarð, but keep putting it off because services are held there only twice a year and it has never worked out. It’s supposedly the shortest route over the mountains. I’m going to take that walk without attending mass, and make a record of it.
Kristinn G. Harðarson
Kristinn G. Harðarson presents drawings made during his travels over the past three years around the Dalir district, especially Skarðsströnd and Gilsfjörður. Some of the pictures are drawn directly from nature, others from photographs taken along the way. Kristinn has worked at many jobs over the years, including design, set design, mental health work, and diverse kinds of art education. He is a founding member of the Suðurgata 7 and Living Art Museum associations and is a seasoned curator. Kristinn has explored art in all its forms and methods, from watercolour to performance. His liberal use of text perhaps reflects the narrative element of his work; among the narrative forms he has worked with most in recent years are those close cousins, the diary and the travelogue.
Kristín Rúnarsdóttir places strong emphasis on drawing in her work. Among her subjects is the relationship between the aesthetic and the applied. In recent years she has created drawings that refer to all sorts of diagrams of spaces and systems, i.e. practical drawings that have strong aesthetic qualities, are characterized by straight lines, are made by defined methods, and entail specialized symbolism relating to the project at hand. She uses drawing to some degree as a tool to record, or map, an environment and thought-world. Allusions to the image-world of sports and games, to memories of sports fields and playgrounds, recur often in her work. Her drawings are wrought in various substances on paper, plate, and books, floor space and wall space. Kristín Rúnarsdóttir graduated from the visual arts department of the Iceland Academy of the Arts in spring 2009. She is an active member of Gallerí Crymo at Laugavegur 41a in Reykjavik and has in recent years participated in exhibitions and projects in Iceland and Scandinavia.
In recent years Þorri Hringsson has found his pictorial subjects mainly in Aðaldalur in the north-eastern district, Þingeyjarsýsla, where he has a work space. His projects for Dalir and Hólar 2010 are derived from the environment of the Breiðafjörður area and represent his first engagement with landscape beyond Þingeyjarsýsla. Þorri Hringsson has studied at the Reykjavik School of Visual Art, the Icelandic College of Arts and Crafts, and at the Jan van Eyck Academie in the Netherlands (1984-1991). He has shown his work in more than twenty solo exhibitions and in many group exhibitions in Iceland and abroad, while teaching both painting and drawing, creating graphic stories, organizing exhibitions, and critiquing wines and restaurants.