Oil on paper, 2020, (8) x 56 x 76 cm

The reasons for deciding to do a work about Samherji the fishing company lies further back than the on-going investigation into their presumed wrongdoing. In Iceland the fishing quota system has been up for debate as long as I can remember. It’s clear that choosing another subject matter would have meant an easier life and better sleep for me. Nevertheless, life’s never easy and we only choose or control very little in what we have to do. I ended up painting their local fleet as they are listed on their website, including also Akureyrin, the pride trawler they started with and that I remember the best. An old rusty trawler they bought and renewed into one of their champion fishing vessels. 

I chose to paint them faint with oil on sheets of paper. Not blowing them up but rather keeping them close to the size the traditional boat paintings would be made in, though mine of course look very different. They’re painted in sketchy manner, emphasizing an almost kitschy feeling to them. Using oil on paper means you only get one stroke, otherwise you kill it. They are monotone, each in different innocent looking pastel like tones. They will be shown as they are, unframed to minimize their seriousness, rather increasing the notion of them being research like sketches.

Oil on paper


  • National Gallery, Reykjavik, Iceland, 2022