NATURE ATTUNED: Two-Artist Exhibition

The Yard, 33 W 60th St New York, NY


Fish Skin, Linen, and Gouache, 2018

While in residency in the Hafnarborg Fine Arts Museum in Hafnarfjörður, Iceland, in 2018, I produced 11 paintings using the skin of the fish as the central element in the construction of new visual elements in paintings.  Attached to a canvas, skin became mountains. In the compositions, the artist plays with the line, texture, and space within the frame by completing the negative areas around each skin with linen. I brought together linen and leather with sewing, a skill she learned from her mother and grandmother. Finally, I used the tactile surface as a palette of colors and tones found in the Icelandic landscape and boats.

I lived in the museum in Hafnarfjörður, a port town located on the southwest coast of Iceland, about 10 km south of Reykjavík. The town is one of the oldest fishing villages in the country. Fish and its skin have always been an essential part of the Icelandic economy since the first settlement by Norseman in 874 AD. The Viking influence in the region remains very visual— symbolic drawings carved in stone monuments, paintings on facades, and historical and cultural references into local jewelry. I sourced fish skins at the tanneries spread around the Island and used these references around her to create her works.