Gerð minnisvarðans um síldarstúlkuna
Minnisvarðinn Síldarstúlkan á upptök sín í fjölskyldutengslum listamannsins. Hér stóð móðir hans, báðar ömmur hans og söltuðu síld í tunnur baki brotnu á síðustu öld. Kraftur og úthald kvennanna sem tóku þátt í þessum síldartörnum var að leiðarljósi við gerð minnisvardans. Í formum listaverksins býr fjallahringurinn og litríkar svuntur síldaráranna speglast í sjónum.
Skapandet av minnesmärke för silljäntorna
Monumentet Silljäntan har sin början i konstnärens familjehistoria. Här stod konstnärens mor, farmor och mormor och saltade sill i tunnor under förra seklet. Styrkan och uthålligheten hos kvinnorna som deltog i denna ackordindustri var en ledstjärna i utformningen av konstverket. I verkets former bor den omgivande bergskedjan och silljäntornas färgglada förkläden speglas i sjön.
The creation of the Herring Girls Memorial
The Herring Girl Memorial takes place in the artist's family history. At this very spot the artist's mother, and both grandmothers stood, cutting and salting herring in the last century. The power and endurance of the women who participated in the tough herring industry was a guiding light in the creation of the artwork. In the forms of the artwork, the surrounding mountain shapes are to be found and the colourful aprons of the Herring Girls is reflected in the sea.
The Herring Girl Memorial is built on location by the SR machine workshop in Siglufjörður according to full scale model and under the supervision of the artist Arthur Ragnarsson.
The government of Iceland supported the creation of the artwork together with private partners.
The prime minister of Iceland Katrín Jakobsdóttir inaugurated the Herring Girl Memorial 2023
Myndirnar eru samsettar og tölvuteiknaðar og sýna hönnun skúlptúrsins í tengslum við valinn stað á Siglufirði. Hugmynd myndlistamanns er að minnisvarðinn samanstandi af skúlptúr úr járni og verði staðsettur á bryggjuplani úr tré.
Skúlptúrinn myndar fimm síldartunnur og við tunnurnar standa þrjár síldarstúlkur og horfa út fjörðinn. Skúlptúrinn er skorinn og soðinn saman úr stálplötum. Listaverkið er að öllu leyti unnið á staðnum af fagmönnum eftir frummyndum og í umsjá listamanns.
These images are collage and made in Photoshop in order to realize the artists vision of the memorial
Alma Sövrine Petersen Tynes 1917 – 1998
Stefanía Sigmundsdóttir 1918 - 1987
The vision and implementation of the memorial is to create physical closeness to history and a solid link between past and present.
The choice of material and building methods are partly ceremonial, made to repeat human activity and bring to mind heavy labour and strength.
For the foundation of the artwork a pier is built in the traditional way in wood and accessible from the Herring Era Museum. The sculpture is placed at the end of the pier.
This location provides the necessary connection with the sea and a corresponding view of the entire mountain range of Siglufjörður. Looking south facing the Herring Girls, the artwork is aligned with the queen mountain Hólshyrnan.
When dusk falls, the Memorial is illuminated from the bottom of the herring barrels, and the golden reflection in the sea sparkles from far away.
During the creation of the Herring Girl Memorial people was invited to follow the process in real time photo shot updates under a year. This documentary material is available on Facebook and here on the artist website.
The making of a prototype is about imitating the iron and realize the possibilities and limits. Materials used in the creation of a prototype must be able to describe both smooth and curved surfaces. It must be possible to bend to simulate the rolling of the steel in the curved surfaces of the model.
Book binding cardboard is recycled paper that comes in pressed sheets, cardboard panels. The sheets are 2 and 3 mm thick. This is a hard and dense cardboard that can be sawn, cut and sanded. The sheet can also be bent considerably by soaking with water to achieve solid curves and curved surfaces.
In the construction of the figures, I use Styrofoam panels. Styrofoam and XPS polystyrene are a pressed polystyrene foam (XPS) thermal insulation material, so-called pressure insulation, which has much more pressure and moisture resistance than conventional white sort of insulation. These boards are often blue, purple or yellowish in color (Finnfoam). The boards come in standard sizes and thicknesses and can be glued together into larger units and built as desired. The foam contains 98% air and is recyclable. The material is very easy to saw, cut, sand and shape with various tools.
The glue for the project needs to dry quickly, so the water-based glue is not suitable for gluing foamboards. Superfix is cement widely used in the construction industry is an alternative. Glue guns are convenient and quick, but some of them heat the glue so much that the foam melts. The hot glue gun can be disconnected for a while to get right temperature.
It is rare for a sculpture of this size and character to be built in this way on location. Usually, a cast/copy is made of an artist's original work, but here the artwork is made by hand, cut out of steel plates and welded together piece by piece.
Clay is useful to make sketches and to understand 3D projects. You get the body, weight and circumference at once.
For the concept work I have used a special clay that is very suitable on a smaller scale.
The clay figure is only 30cm. in height but enough to consider and understand the proportions when moving further to build the model in full scale.
The Herring Barrel
The Herring Girls
In the very first years of herring salting in Siglufjörður, canvas aprons were made to be used for salting work. The herring girls had these aprons over their skirts. In the later years of herring salting, bright yellow rubber aprons were used. Possibly a rubberized sailcloth that was then varnished and that's how the aprons originally got this yellow colour.
Home-made gloves of wool were used until the Second World War. They were made of canvas or leather. Rubber gloves did not become common until around or after the war and were considered expensive at first.
Loose sleeves to protect the arms of herring girls, passed over gloves and lay close to them. Sewn in linen or thin sailcloth and oil dried. Applied linseed oil, fern oil on sealed the fabric and protected against fading. Later, sleeves were made of rubber fabric.
The herring girls wore rubber boots and had scarves tied around their heads when they were working, which were called skuplu.
The herring girls had knives for cutting and a food plate made of iron, usually enamelled, which was used to sprinkle salt over the layers of herring in the barrel.
Time for final treatment and coating. The herring girls will spend some time in SR's machine shop where there is glowing iron and sparks flying around. Must protect them from the heat.
I apply a glue-plaster mixture, regular white wood glue and alabaster, and when the mixture hardens, a thin, hard shell is made.
I repeat this process several times to get a decent thickness on the coat and finally I paint the herring girls in a nice and attractive colour.
Copying each cut and forms of the figures on paper.
Traditional herring dinner with the girls
Ég er sérfræðingur í að meðhöndla og pakka listaverkum þekktustu listamanna heimsins.
það hefur verið hluti af starfi mínu við Listasafn Gautaborgar að sjá til þess að rétt sé farið að svo að engin hætta sé á ferðum þegar færa þarf til verk eða flytja milli heimsálfa.
After a month's journey across sea and land, the Herring Girls are finaly at home in Siglufjörður.
First Herring Girl
Second Herring Girl
Third Herring Girl
Fitting & Lighting
In the open air
The Team, from left: Símon Helgason, Stefán Ásgrímsson, Arthur Ragnarsson, Kristján F. Haraldsson, Hilmar Þór Elefsen & Freysteinn R. Ragnarsson. Missing in this photo are: Arnar Eyjólf Ólafsson & Heimir Birgisson.
Thousand had gathered at the seashore to celebrate the memorial and the new landmark of the village.
The Prime Minister of Iceland, Katrín Jakobsdóttir inaugurated the sculpture by bringing flowers.
In the opening speech, the prime minister welcomed the long overdue memorial to the incredible contribution of the herring girls to the Icelandic economy and to the women’s fight for equality in the last century.
The story of the herring girls is also the story of women's right in an international perspective.
At the inauguration ceremony the Herring Girl Memorial was handed to Fjallabyggð municipality and to care of the Herring Era Museum.
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