Pétur Magnússon 1958-
Pictures pop into the mind for many reasons; in his case the artist refers to a rhyme or riddle he had learned from his mother and grandmother in rural Mosfellssveit:
Sat ég og át
og át af mér,
át það sem ég á sat
og át af því.
(I sat and ate, and was fed upon, and what I sat upon ate, and was fed upon.)
Though the riddle may seem hard to solve, careful scrutiny of the work provides the answer. At the same time Pétur presents an allegory of a kind, reminiscent of Gunnlaugur Scheving’s painting Summer Night (1959), which depicts a mother and child with a cow, surrounded by God’s green nature in the bright Icelandic summer night. The weaving is based upon a composite photograph ingeniously staged by the artist, with Mt. Esja in the background. In the 1970s Sigurður Guðmundsson made photographic works using similar methods, while here the photograph is transposed into textile, using weaving on a digital loom in the USA. The height of the piece is the width of the loom. Pétur has long worked in the field of conceptual art, and in this case the concept of the work led him to the form of a woven wall hanging.