Erla S. Haraldsdóttir combines photorealistic motifs with painterly excellence and humour. A unique combination of concept-driven methods, energetic brushwork and a vivid palette make her solo-exhibition at Listasafn ASÍ, Visual wandering, a matchless study of motifs and technique based on the freedom of restraint. The large-format paintings all come from the past two years. The images have either been selected through a system which impromptu determines places from a certain story or through tasks given by others.
Haraldsdóttir is trained in classical painting and has for the past years mainly worked in a figurative manner. The physicality of paint, handling of colour to create space, light and shadow is highly significant. Methodology is also central to her practice, which often explores how memories, emotions and visual perception interact. She has previously worked with animation, video and photomontage as tools for appropriating and restructuring reality. In Iceland she is known for her work with photomontages like Here, there and everywhere; layered drawing-based animations like Sad with Satie and Reynisdrangar; complex collaborative projects like M.E.E.H., in Independent People, the Reykjavík Arts Festival 2012, and the Difficulty of Freedom /Freedom of Difficulty project presented in both Living art museum, 2013 and Verkligheten, Umeå, Sweden, 2014. Forthcoming projects include a solo exhibition in Pszczyna Castle in Pszczyna i Poland, curated by Stanislaw Ruksza as a part of the project A place where we could go in November this year, and in February 2015 she will participate in the inauguration exhibition of the new Silesian art museum building in Katowice, Poland which has been built over a former coalmine.