Þórunn Elísabet Sveinsdóttir Exhibition

Hafnarborg - The Hafnarfjörður Centre of Culture and Fine Art Exhibition

Somewhat loose around the edges - tacked down, pinned, stitched here and there


Þórunn Elísabet Sveinsdóttir is well known for her work in theater set and costume design. Her artwork is often based around textiles and the recycling of old fabrics and artifacts. In this exhibition Þórunn exhibits large quilts and textile sculptures made out of reused fabrics and other materials such as used clothes and old crochet and stitching. She seeks out materials that have a past and tell stories, but it’s not the facts of these stories that she expresses, rather she uses the materials to spark new stories that each and every person creates in their mind, based on personal experience. Familiar objects from the past, loaded with meaning, as parts of a collective cultural heritage, are also full of personal connections to family stories and the background of each person.

Even though the visual composition is an important aspect to Thorunn’s creations, it is obvious that her interest in Icelandic culture also plays a significant role. The works bear telltale signs of an interest in Icelandic folk art, especially the culture and traditions of women’s craft. This interest not only relates to Thorunn’s own rich craftsmanship and the use of her foremothers’ handiwork and traditional dress, but also to texts and the presentation of historical artifacts in reliefs. The Icelandic woman, either beautifully adorned or downtrodden, abandoned and forgotten, comes to life in patchworks and reliefs next to suits and handkerchiefs of the common man.

These loosely spun stories spring from an intuitive mind endowed with freedom to evaluate history and the environment with its own tools. The exhibition has a certain nostalgic quality about it, which is underlined with works made from toys, children’s clothing, and other childhood objects. There is joy and vivid color in these works that, like the exhibition as a whole, touch the very heartstrings of the viewer.

On display until January 6, 2013.

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