Stöðvarfjörður 2023


In October 2023 I started to work at my project Female history in Iceland at the AiR Fish Factory in Stöðvarfjörður Iceland. To gather information, I asked Icelandic women to fill in questions about their own history, and about what they remembered of the lives of their mothers and (great)grandmothers. Their fascinating stories were my inspiration by making the series Female shelters.

Finding your way in Iceland should be taken literally. The island is completely layered. It has all kinds of Interconnections that are not easily visible. People from west Iceland are well informed about what is going on in eastern Iceland and the opposite. There is also a spiritual world with elves and trolls that lives straight in our visible world with cars, houses and digital connections.

From lots of holes to less. The cave of the great-grandmother is about a woman who was born in a cave. When I heard that, my imagination started running wild. I felt that a cave is a warm and pleasant shelter to live in. I made it grey, rough, with different holes, caverns, and it reminds about the black mountains. There are patterns in the rocks made by the wind. From the top, you can imagine remnants of figure. Maybe it looks hostile, but if you live here, it is a good protection.

The caves were still in my mind when I made this light object. It is more about looking into. It is glazed in the colors of joy I see everywhere around:  the soft light blue of the sea and grey, green and brown dots of the mosses, fungi and lichens. I, myself got mythical thoughts when I made it. Elves were protecting this enlightened cave with wires that make you invisible so no one will find the little girl who lives here.

A romantic Summer shelter, full of plants, flowers and moulds, where you can hide yourself and enjoy the enduring light of the midsummer.

One woman wrote me that she and her ancestors were sheep farmers since the Viking-time. The great-grandmothers in general were strong women who raised many children and often outlived their husbands. Icelandic women are still the protectors (Verndari) of society.