Visions and other worlds – art inspired by a medieval poem

The magnificent medieval poem Song of the Sun is the inspiration for the arts exhibition opening in the narthex of Hallgrimskirkja next Sunday. Artist Valgerdur Bergsdottir focuses on the bridging of the divide between life and death.

Song of the Sun is one of the most singular works of medieval Icelandic literature. It tells of a dead father returning to his son, advising him about life and death and calling for morality and love for the world. Professor Gisli Sigurdsson classifies the Song of the Sun as a vision poem, works granting insight into the world of death and into the future through a trance. Famous works of this kind are The Revelations of St. John in the New Testament, Dante’s Divina Comedia and the ancient, Icelandic Voluspa.

Bergsdottir’s works are pencil drawings. Since the nineties she has been searching for inspiration in medieval literature, starting when she was working on designs for the church windows in Reykholt, western Iceland. Her search has amongst other taken her to the doomsday pictures of the Catholic church. She claims to see a resonance between the opposites of good and evil in the doomsday pictures and the father’s moral invocation to the son in the Song of the Sun.

The exhibition opens Sunday February 14th at 12.15 pm and is open until May 8th.