I don't, but I would like to...
... have one cover or postcard with post mark from each post office from Faroe Islands.
They are not so many, but without you will not be possible.
I'm waiting your feedback... and of course I will support the cost deliveries or I'll send you back some nice cover with stamps from Portugal.

Please e-mail me for details...

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Art: Frida Zachariassen

Frida Zachariassen – a distinctive painter from Klaksvík

Frida Zachariassen was one of the most distinctive artists in the Faeroe Islands during the 1950s. She developed her own personal style, characterised by geometric figures in compositions portraying landscapes, towns, villages and people. Sometimes the colours in Frida Zachariassen’s paintings are clear and strong, but they also often feature blurred and thin colour tones; in some of the paintings, earth tones dominate. In the 1930s and 1940s, her painting style focused on content and emotions leaning towards the romantic, with replication of the grandeur of nature, the sublime and the eternal. Around 1950, Frida Zachariassen began painting more abstractly. Landscapes and people were dissolved and reconstructed with squares, stripes and triangles. The main works are constructions made of lines and figures in colours such as saturated green and cool blue and grey, sometimes accompanied by black lines. Despite this abstraction and organisation, Frida Zachariassen’s paintings were never non-figurative. Her paintings always depict something recognisable.

In Frida Zachariassen’s landscape paintings, the relationship between the land and people is clear and meaningful. People populate her landscapes and they are often embedded in the landscape. The people in her paintings are active; they work as fishermen, prepare their boats to set sail, unload, walk on fell paths, go to the market, butcher pilot whales, harvest straw and herd sheep.

Frida Zachariassen was from Klaksvík and lived there for the majority of her life. She was born in 1912 and died in 1992. Her mother was Magdalena Jacobsen, who was from Klaksvík’s Uppsalar neighbourhood, and her father was Jógvan Rasmussen, who was called by the place he came from, Jógvan í Grótinum, located by Skálafjørður on Eysturoy. Frida Zachariassen grew up in a busy home with nine siblings and a father who was the leading figure in Klaksvík at the start of the twentieth century.

In 1927, Frida Zachariassen completed her middle school examination with good marks and in 1937 she graduated from the Merchants’ School in Copenhagen. She also wanted an education in art. She wrote about this in the book Strev í málrøkt (Efforts in tending language):
“As a youth, I was most interested in working with paintings and getting an education in Copenhagen. But it quickly became clear that one could not live from making “art”.  Despite the fact that Faroese could easily gain admission to the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts at that time, there were so few that four years there seemed to be of no use and far too expensive. Therefore, I chose a business school education and then began working at an office.”

In other words, it was impossible for her to go into a field that could not provide an income. Instead, she found a means of survival and made art in her free time.

During the war, she worked at the offices of the merchant and shipping company, J. F. Kjølbro in her home town. In May of 1944, she married Guttormur Zachariassen, but their marriage was short-lived. He died in a wreck in February 1945. After the war, she returned to Copenhagen, where she worked at an office until 1949. Of the drawings held at Norðoya Listafelag (the Northern Islands Art Association), many are from this period. They indicate that she went to the Danish Museum of Art to draw. When she returned to Klaksvík, she oversaw the region’s health insurance for more than twenty years.

Frida Zachariassen’s production of paintings was greatest in the 1950s and 1960s. In the 1970s, her eyesight diminished, so she began writing instead of painting.

Many of her paintings are from Klaksvík and the surrounding region; these include landscapes, portraits and images of working life. The colours often contrast: red and green, blue and green, red and blue, giving her paintings a sense of both coldness and warmth. It was also during the 1950s that she developed her special cubist style. Meanwhile, she began to travel extensively to develop her art.

The rhythmic patterns and light colours that mark the paintings “Kona” (“Woman”) and “Urtagarður” (“The Garden”) show the splendour of Frida Zachariassen’s unique style. She created art featuring cubist forms that concentrate her expression while giving it form and depth.

Malan Marnersdóttir

Technical data:
Values: two stamps of 6.00 and 26.00DKK
Date of issue: 26-IV-2011
Author: Frida Zachariassen
Technique: Offset
Printer: LMGroup, Canada

Monday, 2 May 2011

Art: Bergithe Johannessen

Bergithe Johannessen – watercolour painter from Vestmanna
Bergithe Christine Johannessen (1905-95) was the first Faroese to be admitted to the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen. Born in Vestmanna, she was the daughter of Madgalene and Niels Skaale Johannessen, merchant and grocer. Bergithe Johannessen was 18 years old when she travelled to London to study painting. She went to the Sidscup School of Art from 1923 until 1925 and specialised in watercolour painting. She then moved to Copenhagen, where she attended the School of Painting at Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts from 1925 until 1931. After completing her studies, she continued living in Copenhagen, where she worked as a porcelain painter at the Royal Danish Porcelain Factory. In 1939, she married semi-skilled worker Arnold Rönnow Torp – Bergithe Johannessen was her artist name.

She travelled frequently to the Faroe Islands to paint and she participated in many Olaj Exhibitions from 1956 until 1980. She was also represented at the major exhibitions organised by the Faroe Islands Art Association in the 1950s: Faroese Art at the Free Exhibition Building in Copenhagen in 1995; Faroese Art at Iceland’s Museum of Art, Listasavn Íslands in 1961 and Faroese Art at the Bergen Art Association in 1970. The Faroe Islands Museum of Art has ten of her watercolours in its collection.

Bergithe Johannessen primarily painted landscapes; colourist watercolours featuring land, sea and skies. Sometimes the paintings have houses and sheep, but never people.

“Skærfyldt strand” (“Glowing beach”) is a watercolour painted in 1964. A green summer landscape unfolds in the foreground. In the middle of the picture is a fence and a sheep standing close to the edge of the rocks. The fence draws the eye towards the middle distance, from the edge of the beach, light, and rocks into the inlet, which takes over. On the other side of the inlet, another rocky landscape can be seen off in the distance, with thick green foliage under a heavy fog that hangs in the background.

“From Nolsø” is also a watercolour from 1964. Here, the foreground is split. On the right is an open view to the water in the middle distance; on the left, rocks rise up and block the view. Some of the forms in the foreground are similar to the other watercolour, but here the middle distance is painted more intricately. A stone dyke runs from the rocks to a field of grass. What appears to be driftwood along the dyke creates depth in the picture. A blue-grey cape spreads across nearly the entire middle distance, separating it from the background, which is a distant landscape on the other side of a strait. The sky is a heavy, light grey plane with scattered indications of clouds, emphasising the enclosed look. The inlet in the foreground is separated from the strait in the middle distance, which ends at the heavily clouded sky. Against the grey and white, the green colours in the grass and blue water create suspense in the painting.

Bergithe Johannessen also painted oil paintings. The Faroe Islands Museum of Art has one of these paintings from 1932. The main scene is a stream winding through a green landscape with grass hanging over the stream banks. A brown fell rises up fills the entire middle distance. In the background, a thin veil of fog covers the top and opens occasionally to reveal a light sky.

In the catalogue from the 1955 exhibition in Copenhagen, the author William Heinesen wrote that Bergithe Johannessen made “the fine, gentle watercolour her speciality”. In the Weilbach encyclopaedia of artists, the artist Bárður Jákupsson writes that she mastered the technique of watercolours in a brilliant and artistic way and that she portrayed atmospheres in the Faroese landscape, with a particular focus on villages and coasts.

Bergithe Johannessen watercolours and oil paintings are fine representatives of Faroese art from the mid-twentieth century. Her paintings portray landscapes, villages and the sea with empathy and a precise sense of colour and form.
Malan Marnersdóttir

Technical data:
Values: two stamps of 2.00 and 24.00DKK
Date of issue: 26-IV-2011
Author: Bergithe Johannessen
Technique: Offset
Printer: LMGroup, Canada