I don’t really remember what it was that made me stick with Herðubreið for the past years, sketching and painting it over and over again. Maybe it was me missing the Icelandic nature and landscape when I moved to London. I remember my dad gave me a photo he took of some mountains –not Herðubreið– the day I moved to London, and he wrote on the back of it, in Icelandic, “As a reminder of where you’re from.”
It could also be that I was raised up in a home with Stórval’s paintings covering our walls, but not many people know that he was a very close friend of both my dad’s and my mom’s families. He visited us at home quite a lot, drank his coffee and told us stories from his childhood – he was hilarious and he truly was part of the family. Stefán’s father and my grandfather were best friends, Stefán and my great grandmother were best buddies too and of course my dad and him were very close. They traded paintings and my dad even made a documentary about him back in 1994 and filmed him painting and preparing what would be his last exhibition. He passed away just before my dad finished the documentary, and I was one of the few people who attended his funeral. I was 13 years old, so yeah, this project is very personal – it’s not just me painting a mountain, it’s a lot deeper and kind of hard to explain really what this means to me.
I guess my intention is just to paint an Icelandic scenery by memory. I want to paint how I remember the landscape being, and not exactly how it is, because I have never seen Herðubreið with my own eyes.