It was Dolinda’s adventures spirit that first drew her to Iceland, but what made her stay was love, art, nature and friendships.
Dolinda was born and raised in Switzerland where her father was a factory owner. She studied fine art in Geneva and Basel but longed to see more of the world. Soon after completing her studies, she travelled to Great Britain and Sweden, where she stayed temporarily before traveling to Iceland in 1948. In Iceland Dolinda met Gestur Þorgrímsson and Sigrún Guðjónsdóttir (Rúna). In collaboration with them and the Scottish artist Waistel Cooper she took part in building up the ceramic workshop Laugarnesleir. The group had no prior experience in working with ceramics, they simply dived in and learned as they went along.
Dolinda’s work was influenced by modernism and the insight into Mid-European culture. Pablo Picasso had a great impact and the African influence can possibly be traced to him. Her works are unusually colorful, decorated with geometric and figurative forms, calm and joyful at the same time.
Dolinda went back to Switzerland in 1952 but returned to Iceland nine years later to marry the lawyer Ólafur Sv. Björnsson. Together they settled in Seyðisfjörður where Dolinda had her ceramic workshop. In 1965 their daughter, Elísabet Dolinda, was born but in 1967 Dolinda passed away, and her husband only a year later.
The work presented in this exhibition is mainly from the private collection of Elísabet Dolinda. The majority of the pieces recently came into her possession from the estate of Ella Wenli, Dolinda’s good friend from Switzerland who passed away towards the end of 2020.