- FJORDS –
Ragna Róbertsdóttir & Harpa Árnadóttir
First fjord: Arnarfjörður
July 21 – August 12, 2012
FJORDS is the name of an exhibition series by Ragna Róbertsdóttir and Harpa Árnadóttir. Together the two artists show new works in different places around Iceland, specially created for the occasion. The first exhibition opens in the town of Bíldudalur in the fjord of Arnarfjörður with works deriving from natural raw materials found in and around the fjord.
The exhibition takes place in the historic 110-year-old schoolhouse in the heart of town, next to the church. The exhibition introduces the special treatment of natural materials that Harpa and Ragna have adopted respectively in their work. They use the algal limestone from the bottom of the ocean in Arnarfjörður; Ragna works with the coral in its natural form and Harpa uses it as powder, with which she paints. She also exhibits a painting in traditional watercolour. Ragna furthermore uses a number of different seashells, including the compact ‘Elbow Shells’ found on the sandy shores of the fjord. Finally, she shows a found sculpture, a fencing stake, which was cast a long time ago using sand from the local beach, full of shells that can be seen in the concrete.
Harpa and Ragna are undoubtedly among the strongest artists of their generations in Iceland, known for their clear and unique vision. This is the first time that they join forces together in an exhibition and quite fittingly it takes place in Arnarfjörður. It so happens that both artists have personal ties to the fjord, where they spend part of the year. The artists share mutual elements in their work, with roots in textile on the one hand and painting on the other hand. They make direct use of natural materials that they have experimented with over the years in their studios. The processes depend on the natural behavior of materials to produce unforeseen outcomes within a limited framework, here a defined square shape. And both rely on a keen sense for environment and space. This spatial presentation of works in the old schoolhouse and the installation in terms of light is as crucial for the outcome as the material itself.
Ragna Róbertsdóttir (born 1945) has, among other places, had solo exhibitions at the National Gallery and the National Gallery of Iceland. She works with galleries in Reykjavik and Berlin and has exhibited widely in the U.S. and Europe.
Harpa Árnadóttir (born 1965) has recently had solo exhibitions at the ASI Museum, The Living Art Museum and Studio Stafn, and she has published catalogues and artist books. Her works are in several Nordic collections and she has exhibited widely in the Nordic countries.
The project is made possible with generous grants from the Palmi Jonsson Conservation Fund and West Fjord’s Cultural Board. The next exhibitions in the series are planned in Skagafjörður in the North and Seyðisfjörður in the East. FJORDS is curated by Markús Þór Andrésson.
Image : Untitled, 2012. Ragna Róbertsdóttir. Photo: María Guðrún Rúnarsdóttir
The exhibition is on view until August 12
Opening hours are at 1 to 6 pm Wednesdays to Sundays.
Next show in the exhibition series is planned in Skagafjörður in the North.