Growing up in Iceland had an immense effect on Edda Sigurdardottir’s sense of visual delight, color and form. Few trees allowed for unobstructed views of horizons, mountains, waterfalls, rivers and glaciers.
Today she finds that she draws on these visual memories in her monotype prints. Siguardardottir’s newest show opens March 4th at the Oxbow Gallery in Easthampton.
Producer Dave Fraser visited with her recently and brings us her story.
Learn more about Zea Mays Printmaking, the studio space featured in this story, in this digital exclusive.
Read the full transcript:
Zydalis Bauer, Connecting Point: Growing up in Iceland had an immense effect on Edda Sigurdardottir’s sense of visual delight, color, and form. Few trees allowed for unobstructed views of horizons, mountains, waterfalls, rivers, and glaciers. And today she finds that she draws on these visual memories in her monotype prints.
Her most recent show opens tomorrow at the Oxbow Gallery in Easthampton, and producer Dave Fraser visited her recently and brings us her story.
Edda Sigurdardottir, Printmaker: It’s very therapeutic because there’s an air in here that is…gives me creative vibes.
Ever since I was in art college way back in the olden days, I had vowed that I wanted to go into printmaking, when, you know, my work would cease a little bit. And, you know, having worked really hard all my life in, um, in graphic design. But here I was all of a sudden with just a white piece of paper, and I could do whatever I wanted on that piece of paper. And to me, that was an interesting experience.
My father’s first name is Sigurdar and “dottir” means daughter, so I’m the daughter of Sigurdar, so I’m Sigurdar’s daughter. That’s how that works, in Iceland!
I think a lot about weather when I grew up in Iceland, on an island in the North Atlantic, it’s very windy. So, I think about that a lot. And so, you may or may not be able to see some of that in these prints.
I do mostly monotype, which means that it’s really just a one print, an original print that cannot be multiplied. And everything is hand pulled from a printing press.
And I like it because it gives me a lot of freedom to explore composition and color combination and — and the technical parts of printmaking is very, very interesting to me.
I’ll add a little red.
I use a plexiglas plate and I roll the ink on the plate in the areas where I want it to go. Sometimes, I just leave it the way I put it on, or I might wipe into it to create some kind of, um, texture. Then I’ll take it to the press and roll it through.
And then when it’s through, I pick up the paper and I see what I have and then I decide what I’m going to do next. Sometimes in monotype, you can alter things a little bit by over printing things. So, it has a lot of opportunities to to create a print.
I moved here because my daughter lives in western Massachusetts. And so once I had moved here, I found this place.
The people who are here are very open to sharing technical issues or — or they might come and say, you know, “May I look at what you’re doing?” And, you know, it’s very courteous and professional, but everyone is always very generous about, you know, what they’re doing and how they’re doing it and sometimes why they’re doing it.
And I feel definitely that I’m in my own world. And, you know, people are just working here, there’s very little, you know, just talking with each other. It’s quiet. And everyone is sort of doing their thing and this is my happy place!