Icelandic artist graces Kolher Gallery

Elena Amesbury

On Friday, the latest exhibition shown in the Wriston Art Center was opened. The collections included in the exhibition are Asian Art in the Permanent Collection in the Leech Gallery, Made in Japan: Recent Ceramics by Valerie Zimany in the Hoffmaster Gallery, and the Kohler Gallery, the final and largest, holds a collection of Kristin Gudjonsdottir’s art called Seekers.
The Asian art from Lawrence’s permanent collection includes select pieces of ancient art, including a series of 18th century Chinese ivories of eight immortals from Chinese myth, two ceramic horses from the T’ang period, and a couple of Buddhist sculptures.
Lawrence Fellow Valerie Zimany created Made in Japan: Recent Ceramics. Zimany studied at the Kanazawa College of Art in Japan, and also at the University of the Arts, Philadelphia. The art in the exhibit is modern and reflects the cartoon style pop cultures of Japan and China. Some of the sculptures are literally piles of cartoon figurines.
Kristin (Stina) Gudjonsdottir delivered the lecture for the opening, which was heavily attended. A native of Reykjavik, Iceland, she now lives in North Carolina. She attended The Icelandic Academy of the Arts, and the Reykjavik School of Art. Her work has been shown in Denmark, New Zealand, and Iceland, as well as around the United States.
Gudjonsdottir uses recycled materials for her work, a trait she feels her thrifty ancestors been passed down to her. Throughout her career, she has focused mainly on glass and ceramics. Of the collection in Wriston, Seekers, Stina said: “All my life I have been a seeker. This new body of work shows it in a subtle way.”
She uses the landscape of Iceland as inspiration in her work. The glass she uses reflects the color of ice, her glazes replicate the texture of lichen, and the lighting of this exhibit duplicates the way the sunlight shines through the clouds.
Stina was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2001, and her current work reflects her battles with the side effects of chemo, as well as her need for the belief in a higher power. This need led her back to Iceland, where she found a natural energy center. She integrated her visit to the center into her work in other sculptures not found in this exhibit, such as “energy seekers:” stacks of Icelandic stones pointed at the sky.
All three collections can be seen Tuesday through Friday 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, noon-4:00 p.m., through October 29.