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Laufey Jónsdóttir

Laufey was born and brought up in Víðidalur, north Iceland, and now lives in Akureyri. As a child Laufey took a great interest in the sheep on the farm, and imitated them and their bleating. She and her siblings played with sheep horns (traditional playthings). She knew all the owners’ marks on the sheep, and recognized each animal from its posture or gait, even at a distance up the mountain. At an early age Laufey started to cut out pictures of animals, which she coloured, copying the beasts in the cowshed and sheepshed, and then played with her cut-outs. Many years later she went on where she had left off, creating ewes and lambs, spirited saddle-horses, dogs, cows and cats. She never sketched the outlines, but cut freehand with her scissors. The ewes had an yellow hue, the horses blue – as if in shadow – while the human figures have a weatherbeaten look of experience, reliability and resolve. In addition to her cut-out figures, Laufey made drawings on wooden boards, sawn out by her husband Jón Sigurðsson and then painted. Works by Laufey have been showcased at the Icelandic Folk and Outsider Art Museum, and were in the Museum’s exhibition Across the Bridge of Optimism at the Reykjavík Art Museum in 2003