Works by María Loftsdóttir using rainwater collected by the Imagine Peace Tower on Viðey
On 3. of September 2016 I held an Exhibition in Reykjavik City Library Gerðuberg Culture House.
Reflections by the artist about the exhibition
My idea of painting something connected with the Imagine Peace Tower on Viðey and peace in the world took quite a long time to germinate in my mind. As I looked at the tower of light on my way home from work, or from my own kitchen window, I found that this majestic beam of precious light towering up in the sky gave me strength and hope for world peace.
Everyone on Earth longs for peace in our hearts and to live peaceful lives without the threat or the reality of conflict. We in Iceland are lucky in this respect; nevertheless, world peace and well-being for all mankind are issues that concern us all. The world is a big place with almost boundless distances, yet at the same time it is so unbelievably small and most of us share the same values, aims, hopes and expectations.
I thought for a long time about how art could serve to remind people of peace and also how to make a connection between a work of art and the work of art that the Imagine Peace Tower itself is. After pondering this for some time, the answer came to me more or less unbidden. The method I chose was to use some of the rainwater that falls on the Imagine Peace Tower on Viðey: water that falls from the skies, which by its nature is free, impartial and without fear. In dense rain, this water collects rapidly by the tower, after which it lies peacefully in a small puddle, caressed by the breeze, until it finally evaporates.
I went out onto Viðey during a rainy spell and then started the project by painting seven large water-colours representing the seven continents. Then I went on to paint 196 small paintings using the rainwater. These symbolize all the countries on earth. Finally, all the small pictures ended up on Viðey, where I put drops of ‘peace water’ onto them. On each one of them there is a circle indicating where these drops are kept. A drop is a tiny thing, but it serves as a symbol of peace and the hope that binds all countries and all peoples together: the hope for peace, joy and goodwill for those who live here on Earth.
All this has gone well and given me a great deal: Viðey, the Imagine Peace Tower and my Peace Pictures. Those representing the continents were painted with the colours and music of the countries there in mind; in the little pictures, the colours set the tone and told me which country I was depicting. This brings together my insatiable thirst for travel; painting and travelling are vital to me and my experience of far-away places generally finds expression in my works.
We should never cease to dream and to do what we most want, least of all as our years increase. We should go ahead and seize the chances we have to put our ideas into action when they come to us and enjoy being alive and being alive now.