Thuridur Sigurdardottir exhibits new paintings:
Uninvited guests at the darkest time of the year.
Art. Weed is considered an intruder in most gardens. These same flowers bring on the other hand joy when we stumble upon them out in open nature.
“The same applies to human life. We like to place certain people in one place but certainly not in another place. This is ambiguity. ,” says Thuridur Sigurdardottir who opens an exhibition of oil paintings in Gallery Hlemmur tonight.
Her subject is indeed beautiful flowers, that people don’t want to see in their garden but welcome elsewhere. The exhibition is called “intruders”.
Thuridur says that she mulled over whether it is acceptable in art nowadays to paint oil-paintings of flowers.
“This subject is really so banal, so profusely traditional that it is not likely to gain popularity.” But I like to provoke my self and others with it ”.
She says that these paintings are the yield of two years work. She started working on them at the time she was finishing her studies at the Iceland Academy of Art. But she says she has waited for the right time to show these paintings.
“I wanted to show them at the darkest time of the year,
because I’m quite certain that if these flowers venture out of the grass in the garden at that time of the year we wouldn’t poison them or tear them up by their roots.
as we do in the summer.”
But how does she envisage the future after a change from a successful singing career?
“Of course one sets off with optimism. Anyway this is what I prefer now. Then we’ll just have to see what the future will bring.”
You lay down in the grass.
-and see nothing except colourful flowers and oversized grass at Thuridur Sigurdardottir’s exhibition.
Thuridur Sigurdardottir, artist and nationally known singer, welcomes everybody, invited and uninvited, to her exhibition “Intruders” which opens tonight in Gallery Hlemmur in Thverholt in the vicinity of Hlemmur and will remain open till 2nd of February. There she exhibits incredibly colourful paintings of flowers which bereave in no time at all the moodiness of depression and go straight on the list of the pharmacopeia. There you can see tricolour violets, .yellow buttercups and dandelions, light-violet lady’s smocks, white mayweeds, trefoils, lady’s mantle and scorpion grass. There was even a blowball, vividly oversized.
“What these flowers have in common is that they are all Icelandic and we love them when we are children and welcome them out in nature as grown-ups but mow them without mercy, poison them or pluck them up by their roots
if we find them in our garden. They are uninvited guests there,” says Thuridur. “We even root them out on traffic islands and plant yellow tulips instead. I have never understood that.”
Summer in winter
“I am not only thinking of flowers in these works but human life itself,” she says as she stands in the middle of her “garden,” “because we like to place both flowers and people in certain places. We usually don’t poison people - except implicitly,” she adds with her catching laughter.
“I always intended to hold this exhibition at this time of the year,” she continues. ”It doesn’t fit in the summertime because I don’t want to compete with nature and furthermore I didn’t want to compete with the Christmas lights.”
Thuridur exhibits these paintings at Gallery Hlemmur because it’s a window gallery and it’s easy to view the exhibition from the outside. There she offers people a rendezvous place in a flowergarden in the middle of winter.
“Many people don’t venture into museums or exhibitions,” she says, “and don’t think it’s their business or think there’s an entrance fee.
But at Hlemmur people don’t have to come inside. People also seek company at Hlemmur and I hope they meet outside the gallery. I intend to light up the hall so the vegetation really stands out – there will be summer in the middle of winter.”
Thuridur graduated from the Academy of Art in Iceland in the spring of 2001 and has since then shown her work in many places, for example in Borgarfjordur eystri at the opening of Kjarvalsstofa, in Slunkariki in Isafjordur and in the cultural center Skaftfell in Seydisfjordur. Many remember her adventurous exhibition of dressed electrical masts in Tjarnarsalur at the Reykjavik City Hall on the Winter festival last year and recently she showed a self-portrait in Gallery i8 – under the stairs where she was seen scrambling up from the floor. She is active in the Open gallery which holds one-day-exhibitions in incidental open spaces in the town centre of Reykjavik. She is one of the founders of the Open gallery.
The painting returns the time
These are not “usual” flower paintings if you compare them to the vase paintings from earlier times and they are very different from the minuscule flowers of Eggert Petursson because although they are accurate they are terribly large. In spite of that they affect you otherwise than enlarged photographs. What are you trying to obtain?
“When you are lying in the grass very close to these flowers you see them that big – you see nothing else,” Thuridur says. “It’s that feeling I’m trying to obtain and I think everyone who is close to nature knows that feeling. You lay down in the grass and smell the earth and the scent of flowers and look lower and lower. When I paint these pictures I feel there is something underneath – these are not just flowers and what you see at the first glance. I am also dealing with depth and I hope that people forget themselves when they look at the pictures and acquire their own feeling for them. The imagery is easily understood and that was what I aimed at. I want everyone to understand my paintings but each in his own way. Every man sees with his own eyes and the summer that he recollects is different for each individual. The photograph returns the moment but I hope that the painting returns time.”
The painting can also choose what emerges there and what doesn’t. There are for example no bugs in your paintings.
“No, I left them for the viewer, everyone must have the chance to add,” Thuridur says with her tinkling laughter. “Then you can also add little flower fairies in your mind , they are so beautiful. I want people to think about something pretty.”
The exhibition closes Sunday 2nd of February and Gallery Hlemmur is open Wednesday through Sunday from 14.00 to 18.00.