Open Studio with resident artist Hildur Jónasson

Open Studio with resident artist Hildur Jónasson Friday February 1st 4:30-6:30pm

Celebrating her Residency at Oxygen Art Centre from January 7–30th, 2019


Following her exhibition Ephemeral Existence, which took place at Oxygen Art Centre in December, Nelson-based contemporary artist Hildur Jónasson has been Oxygen’s artist-in-residence throughout January 2019. Please join the artist on Friday February 1st from 4:30-6:30 for an Open Studio at Oxygen Art Centre to celebrate the completion of her residency and learn about the artist’s process and new work.

Throughout January, Jónasson has been using Oxygen as a working studio as she builds Fata Morgana, a textile installation made of banners of painted silk of various transparencies, textures and weights. This work is based on the sighting of a Fata Morgana – an ephemeral mirage that often appears in arctic landscapes – that also parallels the evanescent quality of glaciers. Regarding the piece, Jónasson says, “as the viewer moves around the work, the lightness of the silk billows in response to one’s movement, a metaphor of human impact on the environment. As one moves around the art, the ‘Ghost glacier’ changes from every angle the artwork is viewed from.”

Fata Morgana was conceived while participating in the Arctic Circle Residency in Svalbard, Norway in 2017. Twenty-eight artists spent two weeks sailing inside the arctic circle, experiencing what the artist calls an ‘otherworldly landscape’, where one’s senses are heightened as a result of a profound absence of human-produced noise. “The barren and vast landscape allows one to not only look out at the macro in the barren landscape, but also to turn inward to the micro. This type of introspection allows one to contemplate a relationship to self, to others and to the earth,” describes Jónasson.

Born and raised in Iceland, Jónasson’s experience with volcanoes, geysers and glaciers informs her practice, as does the folklore and mythology which animates the Icelandic landscape.  The far northern landscape, with it’s subtle light shifts, eerie sense of presence, and vast space, holds a special fascination for Jónasson. In particular, the artist notes, that ice fields and glaciated landscapes form part of the “cultural fabric of Iceland”. Their rapid disappearance, amplifying the effects of the global environmental crisis, effects Jónasson personally. A noticeable absence of ice now clouds her childhood memories of glacial landscapes, once within view of her family home, instead, for Jónasson, a sense of loss pervades.

Fata Morgana will be exhibited at the Kootenay Gallery of Art in Castlegar, BC from March 1st through April 13th, 2019. Join the artist for her opening on March 1st at 7pm at the Kootenay Art Gallery.

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