Despite appearances, I have actually managed to get quite a lot of painting done during my stay- in between Viking romances, near death experiences on “horse” back and generally gadding about exploring this incredible country grinning like a fool! I decided to have a little exhibition to show the locals, that I had indeed actually done something and not just annoyed them…
I had some ideas of what I thought I would paint when I came here, and I haven’t done any of that, I have been so mesmerised by the landscape and light that I have ended up doing a series of small paintings, mainly looking at the changing light. They are ok, some I am happy with, I would like to try and paint them on a large scale and see how that works. I have found working on such a small scale very different for me… also it took me a little while to get used to the aluminium panels.
On a few Thursdays, I took the art class at the local school, and I wanted the kids to put their drawings up at the same time as I exhibited my work and have some fun. I have had Hrafhildurs, beautiful daughter Guðný Ösp keeping me company in the studio after school and being my translator and star pupil when I have visited the school- she is a very talented little painter, and was very keen to be part of the “exhibition”. Guðný occasionally would bring her friend Disella to join me in the studio for painting time- and a quick game of twister!
With the help of the wonderful Linda, the Residencies local contact, we chose the Old Shark Hunter Museum as the location, with the kids work downstairs as you enter and my paintings in a small room upstairs. Jörundur Jónsson, known as Shark-Jörundur, built the house in 1885-86, using timber from Norwegian ships which ran ashore at Hrísey in 1884. In 1917 the house was moved down the hill, to its current site, but a statue of bearded Shark-Jörundur commemorates the spot where the house was originally build. The house now holds an exhibition and an incredible array of items related to shark fishing and the history of the island.
So the kids letter box dropped the locals, and they came out in force- also because word got around about the large bowl of lollies and the bladders of wine and case of beer I had purchased! We had over 60 people come- numbers can be verified as it it a very important thing to sign the guest book in Iceland and if you do not…. it is very bad form!! Everyone had a great time- no one minded the fact my paintings were hung with large amounts of gaffa tape, string and fish hooks. Without the use of any form of measuring equipment… so I gave in and went for a more organic hang…. It was a lovely way to end my time on the island, and to see how proud the kids were to have their work on the wall!