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Life Goes On
Siglufjörður holds a fond place in my heart. This is where, as a child, I traveled to the far north to visit my grandmother for my summer vacations.

In September 2008 I stayed for the month in Herhúsið, the Siglufjörður Artist Residence house (www.herhusid.com). I painted many paintings, but my largest canvas was for this painting, Life Goes On.
Stækka / Enlarge
Lífið heldur áfram / Life Goes On

140 cm x 95 cm / 58" x 40"
Private Collection

My stay here brought back many memories. I wanted to have Herhusið in my painting. Herhusið is on the right. Here it is below.

The Salvation Army held their meetings in Herhúsið. The house's name, "Her" and "húsið" translates in English to "Army House". Almost every child in Siglufjördur attended meetings here. The children sang and after every meeting they received bible photos. I wanted to have at least one guitar-playing Christian Rescue Army woman in my painting. She's at the center of the art. One person from Siglufjördur observed that this lady looked similar to, though it obviously wasn't, my grandmother. It was an accurate observation.

Sæby húsið, the oldest house in Siglufjörður, is on the left. Sæby húsið grabbed my attention the moment I saw it. The unique architecture and shape of this old house just had to be in the painting.

Life Goes On is about the good old days, a happy time when Siglufjördur was a town of herring fishing. It is about the thousands of people who came and lived and worked in Siglufjördur, all day and all night.

It is about when prosperity reigned, when everyone's lives focused on the job of harvesting the herring, the silver from the sea. Through all their hard work people enjoyed life. There was much singing and dancing, flirting and laughing. Siglufjördur was full of life all year long, all day long, all night long. They used every spare moment to dance and play. People knew how to enjoy themselves.

Today, people who experienced this time still get a warm glint in their eye when they think back. They always enjoy remembering these years, the great old days.

In this painting I wanted to catch that joyful play, the bountiful life that surrounded Siglufjördur. Though the fjord is no longer covered with loaded herring boats and though there are no working women on the docks processing the herring, I still feel the old spirit of life and joy here in the north.

And today, people still laugh and dance in Siglufjördur, life goes on.

The Icelandic Minister of Communications and his wife in front of Life Goes On at the reception in Siglufjördur.

Life Goes On is on loan and displayed in his governement office in Reykjavík.

Life Goes On with Gunnella in Iceland.