Hildur Bjarnadóttir: Ecosystem of Colors
The works in this exhibition explore the desire to find one’s place in the world, a place of one’s own. Three years ago, Hildur acquired a piece of land in the south of Iceland. She had no previous connections to this place but has since then been forming roots and planning a future on this land. It is situated in the middle of a farmland, flat, with a panoramic view of the surrounding mountains and towards the ocean. It has diverse flora, which is typical for that part of the country, including meadowsweet, northern bedstraw, stone bramble, angelica, crowberry and cotton grass.
The exhibition Ecosystem of Colors has this piece of land as its point of departure. For Hildur, the land functions as a platform to contemplate issues of belonging and ecological disruption. Through this land she positions herself in time and space, personally, politically and artistically. The plants on the land act as recording devices of the place they grow in and the ecological and social system they belong to, collecting information through the soil and the air, as well as their roots, petals, flowers and leaves. This information is passed on in the colors Hildur extracts from the plants and which she has used to make the works.
All works in the exhibition are specific to a certain place and time and can be seen as systems which bring out different information, feelings and elements of the land, viewing it from different angles. These are Hildur's systems, they are artistic, subjective and autonomous, and give a structure to the pursuit that has resulted in this exhibition.
Hildur Bjarnadóttir (b. 1969) lives and works in Reykjavík and Flóahreppur. She graduated from the textile department of The Icelandic College of Arts and Crafts in 1992 and finished her MFA degree from the fine arts department in Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York in 1997. Since autumn 2013 she has been working on her PhD in fine arts at the Bergen Academy of Art and Design.
Hildur has held many solo exhibitions all over the world, including Colors of Belonging in Bergen Kjøtt in Norway, 2015; Subjective Systems in Kunstnerforbundet in Oslo and Mapping a Piece of Land in Hverfisgallery, 2014; Flora of Weeds in Hallgrímskirkja, Reykjavík, 2013; Coherence with Guðjón Ketilsson in Hafnarborg, Hafnarfjörður, 2011; Encircling in Pollock Gallery, Southern Methodist University in Texas, USA, 2008; Surrogate in Safn, Iceland, Background in i8, Iceland and Inclusion in ASÍ Art Museum, Iceland, all in 2006 and Unravelled in The Boise Art Museum in Idaho, 2005.
Hildur has also participated in numerous group exhibitions, amongst them Your Compound View in Reykjavík Art Museum, 2013; Elemental in Havremagasinet in Bodø, Sweden and Carnegie Art Award Exhibition in Stenersens Museum in Oslo, Norway, 2012-13; Point of View – the Line between Fine Art and Philosophy (Sjónarmið – á mótum myndlistar og heimspeki) in Reykjavík Art Museum, 2011; Project Ten Ten in The Mint Museum in Charlotte, North-Carolina, 2010; Blurring the Line in Pulliam Deffenbaugh Gallery in Portland, Oregon, 2008; Radical Lace and Subversive Knitting in The Museum of Art and Design in New York, 2007, and The Painting after 1980 in The National Gallery of Iceland, 2006.
Hildur has received many awards and honours, such as the Icelandic Visual Arts Award in 2006 and a nomination for the Carnegie Award in Norway in 2011. Her work has been purchased by many museums and institutions in Iceland, USA, Norway and Japan, including The National Gallery of Iceland; Reykjavík Art Museum; Hafnarborg in Hafnarfjörður; Sørlandets Kunstmuseum in Kristiansand, Norway; National Museum of Decorative Arts and Design in Trondheim, Norway; KODE 1 in Bergen, Norway; Contemporary Crafts Museum in Portland, Oregon; Boise Art Museum in Idaho and Tatsumi Sato Collection in Hiroshima, Japan, to name a few.
The exhibition Colors of Belonging is supported by Bergen Academy of Art and Design, Norwegian Artistic Research Fellowship Programme and The Icelandic Art Fund.