Icelandic Christmas Exhibition Opens in Gerduberg Skip to content

Icelandic Christmas Exhibition Opens in Gerduberg

Last Thursday artist Sunna Emanúelsdóttir opened her Christmas exhibition in Gerduberg Culture Center in Reykjavík where traditional Icelandic Yuletide characters are on display, including the ogress Grýla and her 13 sons, the Yule Lads.

Emanúelsdóttir has been given the nickname “Grýla Mama” because of her love for the old ogress. The exhibition includes many of her different approaches to the subject, among them puppets representing young Grýla, old Grýla and chubby Grýla.

The artist first began creating Yule Lads in 1993 and has since produced numerous puppets of the troll brothers. Each puppet is delicately made; their clothing is hand-knitted from natural-colored wool with a beard made from lambskin.

Emanúelsdóttir stays true to the old legends in her renditions of the Yule Lads. “I had had enough of the modern representation of the Icelandic Yule Lads and Grýla. Grýla was wearing a hippy tunic and the Yule Lads were dressed in red. It just didn’t feel right.”

“I have always favored the Yule Lads Ballad by Jóhannes úr Kötlum, and felt inspired by that. I revived our true national Yule Lads,” the artist concluded.

The exhibition is open until January 13, 2008, and admission is free.

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