Photo: Andreas Siqueland

Eyjafjallajökull in Eruption, 2010


The Eyjafjallajökull eruption


In the spring of 2010, I made a study trip to New York, Boston and Chicago to meet artists, give lectures and see new exhibitions. On my way back I found myself stuck in the South of Iceland because of the Eyjafjallajökull eruption. The Volcanic ash had erased the colors and covered the landscape in fine grey lava dust. The endless column of smoke blowing towards Europe seemed to come out of nowhere. Like a reporter, I filled up my notebook with charcoal drawings of the volcano. Repeatedly drawing the same scene in this way had a filmic quality to it. The drifting ash cloud had a mesmerizing effect similar to watching the movement of water on the Mesna river.


Photo: Vegard Kleven

Pages from the notebook Eyjafjallajökull (view from Vík), charcoal on paper, 13 × 41,3 cm, 2010


Later in the summer of 2010 I returned to the Iceland, where I had a three week residency in the former summer house of Icelandic Conceptual artist Birgir Andrésson (1955–2007) in Seyðisfjörður, a town located in the North East of the island. Birgir had developed a special color system that he called  ‘Icelandic colors’. As part of my investigation and as a homage to Andrésson, I made series of works investigating the relationship between colors, place and time. In Colors of the week, I spent a working week painting five monochrome surfaces, one each day. The color left over from one day would be used as basis for the next. This idea of color having a relation to time was further explored in House of Color, where I stitched a series of colored felt pieces together as if they were hanging on a clothesline. I then let them hang outside the house for two weeks. Each day, I would document the process with two photos using an old analogue camera; one of the house with the felt pieces hanging in front of it, and the other with the river flowing by outside the house. In a third work, I collected color, in the form of sand samples, from different areas around Iceland. The volcanic ground comes in a wide variety of colors ranging from white, green and red to ochre and black. The sand was then glued onto different boards creating a series of monochromatic surfaces. This was juxtaposed with a series of painted monochromes of the same format made inside using acrylic paints relating to the memory of colors I had seen outside.


Photo: Andreas Siqueland

 House of Color, color photographs, each 10 × 15 cm, 2010