Encounters With Iceland At Mission Hill Winery

Mission Hill

Steinunn´s figurative work slowly but immediately draws one into the mood of the subject, in turn provoking reflection. The silent strength of her work impresses with a subtle yet strongly powerful emotional pull on the viewer. Subtle and silent, strong and soft, her work is sculptural poetry

DAVID HANDLEY, Director of “Sculpture by the Sea” in Australia


Steinunn Thórarinsdóttir currently has on display 40 sculptures at Mission Hill Winery in Kelowna titled “Encounters with Iceland.” Scattered across the grounds and within the buildings, I was drawn to how the sculptures echoed a lot of the physical stances the visitors to Mission Hill take. Quiet, grounded, taking in the views of the valley and vineyard.


My works explore the human condition in all its variety and how man relates to the environment and to each other. The figures are mostly life size and the atmosphere is reflective and mediative. They are androgynous symbols of mankind. … Each piece is firmly rooted in my Icelandic origin, reflecting the power and proximity of the elements.

Steinunn Thórarinsdóttir

To me, the sculptures looked like they were designed to fit in their respective spots at the winery. Thórarinsdóttir was brought over to place each piece. Their positions feel like permanent homes for them, they belong at Mission Hill. This is more evident when you see how the statues were displayed in a different art show.

Some critics have noted that Thórarinsdóttir’s mostly asexual figures, be they whole or ‘broken’, seem to convey an eerie atmosphere of loneliness, isolation or even sadness; others have seen the same works as monuments to meditation, dignity and peace within an individual at ease with himself. However, such analysis only scratches the surface of her works, but that is exactly where all shared interpretation comes to a stop: we can share views on what we see, but the figures give nothing away of what rest within. They do not share their inner life with the audience; they maintain a very human privacy of emotion, that we both feel bound to honour and align ourselves with.

Eiríkur Thorláksson, art historian


I wouldn’t be surprised to read that a portion of the collection becomes a permanent part of Mission Hill. Encounters with Iceland is on display until October 2014.