Traveling in unfamiliar places I am guided by intuition to take the next step. The unknown becomes present in the perceptual world of my own existence. The memory that resides in the land can take on many forms, evoking strong emotions and raising questions about the boundaries between, on the one hand, my mind’s imagination and what it can project, and, on the other hand, what the body senses and we cannot always readily apprehend. Perhaps we must face that which we fear and enter into the unknown to truly find beauty? Does danger lie at the heart of beauty - in the constant transformations of nature?
Inner journeys are a key part of my artistic practice and attempt to understand the context of things, the connection between the body and nature, mind and matter, birth and death. I try to find places where I want to dwell for a while - villages, farms or buildings - to heed my intuition and sense the energy of the people who have been there. It can be difficult to know what exactly is perceived. What stems from imagination and what is in fact the invisible presence that is perceived through the body? Perhaps the two are intertwined. The journey can be exhilarating when one releases control, even if just for a moment. These experiences become the material of artistic creations. The places themselves or the story behind the journey are not important in the presentation of the work which instead focuses on conveying the experience through texture and physicality.
The Perceiving Body is about a journey without a destination where I try to heed my intuition and see where it leads me instead of planning each step in advance. It is an exploration of landscape, unknown places, experienced both spiritually and physically. Past and present meet in the same moment and time becomes relative. The body senses the spirit of the past: Memories that have taken root in the landscape, on farms or in ruined buildings. Has the spirit of those who dwelled here been transformed into the material form of the surroundings?
Ragnheiður Guðmundsdóttir graduated with a BA-degree from the Icelandic University of the Arts in 2000, studied holistic medicine 2008-2011, and will graduate with an MA-degree this spring.