Artist of the year 2019: Egyló Harðardóttir

Eygló Harðardóttir (b. 1956) was named the Artist of the Year for her aptly named exhibition Another Space in The Living Art Museum.

With work that simultaneously was dainty and coarse, made from delicate materials, the artist opened up doorways for the viewer to enter and increase their perception and sensitivity instead of the usual rationalism. Eygló seems concerned with the viewers sensing that there is no one correct answer, that all dimensions are equally important and that their experience can be personal and limitless. The works were wide open for interpretation. The determined and sophisticated usage of found and bought materials carried an incentive for intuition, to not only read the material of the works but also their hidden dimensions, the subconscious, and the interaction with light and the concrete space of the material world. The work was mainly made from paper, a material which Eygló is obviously fond of, and leads her to the natural structure of her art. The book art “Another Space”, was the exhibition’s source, expanding the possibilities of form and media, in a wide sense.

For almost three decades, Eygló’s art has been interwoven with her work as an art teacher on one hand, and a ranger in the Icelandic highlands on the other. Her understanding and respect for the material and its nature echoes an exploration of the most delicate elements in Iceland’s flora and fauna, and this has formed a unique sensitivity in Eygló’s art teaching, where she guides young people during their formation years.

It is the selection committee’s opinion that Eygló’s exhibition in The Living Art Museum showed all her main characteristics; a passion for art, an unbridled creation, a profound curiosity of the functionality of the inscrutable, and dissemination and teaching which is apparent in the trust she showed the viewers by allowing them to participate in the creation.

Installation view of Another Space in The Living Art Museum. Photo: Helga Óskarsdóttir.

From the exhibition Another Space in The Living Art Museum. Photo: Vigfús Birgisson.

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