A synthesis of my odysseys to Iceland: June 2016 hiking in the Highlands under the Midnight Sun, and again in March 2017 to the Westfjords for the Northern Lights. In keeping with the theme of the exhibition, I have ascribed a rune from the Elder Futhark to each painting. I hope you made it to the exhibition in full and had some fun finding the runes, but here is a sample of what was displayed:
I really enjoy painting my 'people', whom to me are very real characters, even if we only met in a dream, and I know them well. In the future I would like to explore my response to the stimuli of other senses such as taste, or sound, to visualise these folk. These here are from my profound response to Iceland: the mountains and fjords, rich history and beliefs, and the wonderful Icelanders themselves.
The Old Norse believed the Self had different parts that are all semi-autonomous and can detach themselves from one another under certain circumstances.
None of these are equivalent to our view of the soul, in fact the Norse word for soul, "sál", was invented only after they were converted to Christianity, which highlights the prior lack of such a concept.
Here are the four most important parts that I am expressing:
[Please note two of this series of four are now sold, and I find I can't part with "Hugr" (my Mona Lisa) for now.
However, signed Limited Edition prints are available for all four. You can choose your preferred size but there will be strictly only 10 of each ever printed, no matter what size.
Prices start at $210 for 30 x 30 cm unframed plus postage. Please contact me for your choice.]
Hamr - one’s form or appearance, that which others perceive.
I have chosen someone young, so still growing and changing (set at the immense Gullfoss waterfall).
Her rune is Uruz : raw unshaped energy, strength, health and vitality.
"Hamr" oil on canvas, 61 x 61 cm $800 (prints also available)
Hugr - the mind, or personality, and conscious thinking.
I came upon him in a dream, very intense eyes that quite startled me.
His rune is Ansuz : naming, putting things in order, study, learning.
"Hugr" oil on canvas, 91 x 61 cm ARTIST'S COLLECTION (prints available)
I can't part with this, and call him my "Mona Lisa" as his expression seems to change all the time.
Fylgja - an attendant spirit whose well-being is intimately tied to, and closely connected to, the character of its owner.
My friend and guide, the Raven. The rune here is Ehwaz : partnership, trust, two halves of the whole.
(with a little nod to Michelangelo's "The Creation of Adam" in the hand)
"Krummi Nafni Minn (Raven my Namesake)" oil on canvas, 91 x 121 cm SOLD (prints available)
Hamingja - luck, but as a quality inherent in a person, a part of the personality like intelligence, or skill. You are born with an amount of Hamingja and can add to it through doing good deeds or bravery, and carry it forward into your next life. You can lose it completely if you behave badly, so not in the sense of Karma but as a quantity you possess. It can also be lent to someone in need.
This one, who has earned his considerable amount of Hamingja through strength and courage, has the first rune, Fehu : new beginnings, wealth, and luck.
"Hamingja" oil on panel, 46 x 61 cm SOLD (prints available)
Finalist in the Brisbane Art Prize 2017, Judith Wright Centre for Contemporary Art, so was present at my exhibition in print form.
Landmannalaugar is the start or end place for hiking trips through the highlands from May to September. During winter it is covered in deep snow but other times you can see the beautiful coloured rhyolite mountains, old lava fields and very cold glacier runoff streams.
The rune is Thurisaz : reactive force, weather, chaos.
"Landmannalaugar" oil on canvas, 91 x 121 cm $1500
On the south coast is an immense 400 year old lava field, covered in delicate grey-green arctic moss, the first stage of regeneration. Brittle foamed lava goes rust red in places from the high iron content.
This painting's rune is Berkana : liberation of energy, rebirth.
"Lava Field" oil on canvas, 76 x 76 cm $800
I took so many photos of the wonderful ravens at Ísafjörður, in the West Fjords. The town is surrounded by huge escarpments, too steep for the snow to stay on.
The rune here is Algiz : Valkyries, shapeshifting, higher wisdom.
"Hrafn (Raven), Ísafjörður" oil on canvas, 91 x 61 cm $1100
The rhyolite mountains, although almost without flora due to the extreme cold in winter, have most extraordinary colours from the minerals in the ground: red from the iron, purple from manganese, green from copper...
The rune ascribed is Dagaz : day, transformational change, illumination.
"Tattooed Earth Cries River Tears" oil on canvas, 61 x 61 cm SOLD
Gallery Finalist in the Lethbridge 10000 in 2016
The ethereal fading light in winter, the contrast of boiling streams and frozen ground, just beautiful.
The rune ascribed is Tiwaz: balance, calm, focus of energies.
"Twilight, Geysir" oil on canvas, 76 x 76 cm $1100
Fimmvörðuháls, the hiking trail between Skógar and Þórsmörk (Thor's wood), dramatic views as far as the eye can see, canyons, glaciers, volcanoes. The rune ascribed is Eihwaz: pass into a different state of being and arise again.