The exhibition HOME invites you to contemplate the meaning of home and what it means to have a native country. Is it something everyone has? Is home where you live now or the place to which you once belonged and where you once lived? Do you have special memories of a certain place you know inside out, where you know all the shortcuts, the charming walks, the landscape, the sounds, the houses and the people who live in them? Is home a place where we feel safe and sound, or the opposite?
What happens when a home disappears and when houses are sold and older generations pass away? Can a smell, a colour or an emotion kindle powerful memories of a home that once existed?
For many Faroese artists, their native country has played a special role, both personally and as a motif in their art. Hometowns on the Faroe Islands often make beautiful, breath-taking motifs, as we see in several of the paintings in the exhibition. But with what inner feelings have the artists portrayed their homes? And what did home mean to them, and where did they belong?
In the 1930s, several Faroese artists moved abroad: for example to Copenhagen to study at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. When Denmark was occupied during World War II, relations between the Faroe Islands and Denmark were severed. Faroese who wanted to return to the Faroe Islands were unable to until after the war. These included the artists Ruth Smith, Sámal Joensen Mikines, Elinborg Lutzen, Janus Kamban and Jóannis Kristiansen. As a result, their art was influenced by their new wartime home. In addition to paintings of the green mountains of the Faroe Islands, the artists began to study their immediate surroundings, painting Denmark’s tall residential buildings, sandy beaches and forests. A selection of these works are featured in the exhibition.
The Faroe Islands sits in the middle of the North Atlantic. Due to the location of this island kingdom, countless Faroese have set off to see the world – and returned again. Travelling abroad has been part of the life of many Faroese – in quest of experience or education, for financial or societal reasons, or maybe in pursuit of a dream. While discovering cultures and expanding one’s horizons is formative and developmental, many Faroese artists have also been oppressed by a profound sense of homesickness.
The importance of having a home and a safe, secure place to live is figure in the UN’s 17 Global Goals for a More Sustainable World. Global Goal 11: ‘Sustainable Cities and Communities’ and Global Goal 15: ‘Life on Land’ are about ensuring that everyone has the possibility of a safe, secure home. Urban development needs to be more sustainable, creating security in communities and working for the preservation and creation of green public areas.
We hope this exhibition will incite more people to work to achieve a secure, cleaner environment and help realise the UN’s global goals.