In the year 2013 an old farmer, Skúli Gunnlaugsson, had given me a light cross and I decided to make an artwork about his quiet initiatives.
Skúli crafted almost five hundred light crosses since he retired from farming. The crosses are identical in size but vary in decoration. He has given the crosses to individuals all around Iceland and some abroad. The recipients are people he believes have the potential to share positive energy with the world. Some times when he sees news coverage of people he believes have something positive to give he offers them a cross, but in many cases people have heard about his initiatives and ask for one. With the lights he wants to work towards peace, which is the necessary foundation for well-being in the world. Peace has many aspects such as fairness, tolerance and mutual respect. With the peace light it was Skúli´s hope that we unite in working towards finding new and creative ways to encourage understanding, friendship and co-operation towards the wonders of the world, which we have a duty to protect, and, guided by respect for nature and people, take mutual responsibility for our environment.
I decided to start by spending a whole day with him going through the process of making the crosses. That experience, as well as editing a short video of the process, challenged me to visit as many of the other cross owners as possible to help me put the puzzle together. Throughout the data collection I reminded myself to be true to Skúli’s concept and its purity. In the case of this artwork the perception is focused on the silent act, exhibiting the crosses in their everyday setting providing me with an understanding of the lives of the receivers. The images taken on location and the notes and all the long dialogues represent the effect the cross has had on their owners.