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Artist statement

I am an Icelandic painter currently living in Denmark.  However I have through the years lived and worked in both Iceland and Denmark . I seek inspiration from the energy and mystic in icelandic nature .  That is where i feel closeness to the roots of the origins and at the same time the end ; the colours , the clear sky , the light ....

I have solely focused on my painting since i graduated from the San Francisco Art Institude in 1988. Of course I have moved through different periods in my work.  In the beginning I painted figurative symbolism , work that had roots in Icelandic myths and folklore to symbolyse a certain energy and power on the other hand looking to the religion and spiritual enlightenment as a counterbalance to that.  In a review about my first exhibition the paintings were said to be poetic combined to magical energy with strong relation to the past.  I felt it was necessary to move through this classical period to overcome a certain hindrance then break free and go on.  At that time I was deeply concerned with philosophy and focused on death as well as good and the bad , light versus darkness.... religion.

Perhaps these were experiments to find a balance between the imaginative world and the world that is called reality.  From there the paintwork developed towards the abstract but I still kept the symbolism by different means , i.e. I used the form as a symbol but managed at times to stay completely free of the form.  From then on a period of non-objective followed where the colour created the form and structure , at that time I tried to free myself of the drawing . 

Since 1994 I can claim that the paintwork I am doing today began.  I do not look at this as any certain period , I feel I have entered the core of the painting .  Now looking back the harvest of these years appear to be the nearness to the painting itself . the material forces. The creative force.  The material interprets inner life .  I do not approach the painting with any certain things in mind , it just appears like an experience from emptiness , silence , eternity .

Helga Egilsdóttir .

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