Guðrún Sigríður Haraldsdóttir exhibits at Crypt Gallery
Christina Mitrentse projects is pleased to curate Traces a retrospective solo exhibition of works by London based Icelandic artist and designer Guðrún Sigríður Haraldsdóttir spanning ten years of her career. Guðrún combines words and images to explore how meaning and both personal and collective identities are constructed. She creates scalable public and site specific works using materials and methods that she has invented and developed through her experience as a theatre designer. Primary concerns within her work are personal and universal memories and perceptions. As the artists says ‘ a search for what unites us – a common denominator of the society-soul which is based on our need to organize, arrange and order our environment ‘.
The exhibition Traces utilizes the idiosyncratic and sacred space of the Crypt to feature Guðrún’s many series and collections of work; A new large-scale public artwork entitled ‘limited: un: limited’ introduces the exhibition in the church grounds. 12 parcels – ‘Wrapped ‘ formulate a floor-based installation and the wall based boxes ‘Baggages’, lead our passage from the main corridor towards a multi-media installation ‘Amalgamate’, part of which was previously presented at the Reykjavik City Hall. The artist creates an immersive environment, a multi-sensual experience as a record of people and scenes from her surroundings, incrementally build up a classic archive.
Installed in-situ along the narrow corridor, ‘Viewed’ -a new series of dazzlingly beautiful black & white portraits -reveal a collective narrative as they stare straight at us, through actual Windows frames and French Doors. Walking through the catacombs under mystical light a mesmeric sound piece allure us . ‘Our Foremothers’ : two life size Female figures bring back ‘site -specific memories’ from Gudrun’s past and traditions, also emphasized by the use of old christening dresses in the new female figures ‘Reflected I & II ’. Their purposely enlarged faces dramatizing expressions. The Artist reclaims human gestures and reincarnates them as fragments floating out of space in the series of red printed ‘ Beings’.
Multi coloured surfaces, resin and meticulous mixed media techniques underlay the Stained glass design, the precise sense of equilibrium that is fundamental to Guðrún’s ‘Architectural Memories’ collection room. On the other hand, the ‘Plaster of Paris’, bas-reliefs, reference a museological display of specimens of fossils, the purpose of Archives, preservation and presentation as similarly in the ‘Stones’ series displayed directly on and interacting with the historical ‘heritage’ features of the Crypt. The Artist uses digitally printed images on tissue paper embedded in resin with silver leaf to a collection of boxes of iconic imagery i.e. the Buddha, significant Book pages, and Sculls.
Audiences are invited to explore the difference between the individual and the collective identity in the ‘Strings of pearls’ -a new large-scale interactive installation made of accumulative information. ‘Ribbons’ of Words cutting through and intentionally obstructing the human figures as these hang from the ceiling. The room will be gradually filled in while audiences add their own made figures in the installation. Guðrún questions here how we perceive our fellow humans. The piece explores the power, as well as the discrepancies of the language we use to describe our self and it suggests relentlessness in our tendency to categorize our existence.
Words by Christina Mitrentse 2016
About The Artist :
Since training in the U.K. as a Theatre Designer, Guðrún Sigríður Haraldsdóttir has worked internationally on a wide range of projects; in theatre, film, television and museums; as a public artist and lead artist. Her work has been exhibited at solo and group exhibitions in London, UK, Iceland, Denmark, and Germany including ‘Fragments remain’ in the Green Room Studio- Soho London, ‘WellMade03’at Old Stratford City Hall, London, Quadratshow -Druck Dealer, Hamburg, and á: lit/a: view -Member of the month show SÍM, Reykjavík, Iceland. Guðrún was an Artist in Residence at Reykjavik Municipal Archives in Iceland for 2014-15 and at The Florence Trust Studios, London. She has been shortlisted for MARSH Award in 2014 Northampton Borough Council with Array -a North Gate Bus station public sculpture, and she has worked with Icelandic film director Kristín Jóhannesdóttir a 10 -10-production film ‘As in Heaven’ and for all major Theatres of Iceland.