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Guðjón R. Sigurðsson

Guðjón was born in southeast Iceland. When he was two weeks old his parents emigrated to Canada, leaving him in the care of his grandparents. After their time he lived with his aunt and her husband until the age of 20, when his father wrote urging him to join the family in Canada, and sending money for his fare.

In Canada Guðjón fished in lakes and hunted in the woods, living in log cabins far from human habitation with other hunters, or alone with his dogs. He worked for a time as a lumberjack and in construction: he built, for instance, a derrick for a goldmine at Yellowknife north of the Great Slave Lake, fittings for a church in Vancouver and an apartment building in the Rocky Mountains, schools and military barracks, and made furniture and repaired boats. In his eventful life in Canada Guðjón rubbed shoulders with people of many nationalities, such as Native Americans, Asians and Scandinavians, and picked up some of their languages.

In his seventies Guðjón returned to Iceland and built a small home by the farm of Fagurhólsmýri, where he occupied his time carving wooden statues. Pieces by Guðjón were among those shown in the exhibition From the Heart in 1991 at the Living Art Museum. They were later showcased at the Icelandic Folk and Outsider Art Museum, and in an exhibition from the Museum’s collection in 2013 at the Korundi Museum in Rovaniemi, Finland.