Architectural / Monumental / Relief
Installation / Land / Site-specific
Gudrun Nielsen is an Iceland based sculptor educated in Reykjavík (The Icelandic College of Art and Crafts 1985-1989) and London (Chelsea College of Art and Design 1990-1992, University of East London 1994-1995 MA). As a young girl educated as Draftsman and worked for structural engineers 1973-1985. She lived and worked in England from 1989-2003 when she moved back home.
Studio: Reykjavík 2003-, the Deepings 2000-2011, London 1989-2000.
From 1989- Gudrun has competed and exhibited extensively at an international level. She has won number of awards for her art and she represented the UK overseas 1998. Gudrun joined the socety in 1997 as a Bursary winner, became an Associate Member in 2000 and elected a Fellow in 2001. She was council Member of the Royal Society of British Sculptors 2001-2003.
Gudrun is a Member of SÍM The Association of Icelandic Visual Artists, Reykjavík Sculptors Society and Sculpture Network, Germany.
Public Art and other: few picked
1992 Her first public sculpture the monumental, site specific "Wheel of progress" was exhibited by the main entrance to the Design Museum London. She was invited by the Deign Museum and Dr. Paul Thompson to exhibit the sculpture alongside a Nordic exhibition.
1995 Another site specific sculpture "Narrow Path" of monumental scale was exhibited by the river Thames at the Tidal Basin, London.
1997 She was nominated and the 1st winner of the Wybo Haas award and commissioned by Wybo Haas to design an award trophy, "David" / 1998.
1998 1st prize winner, The International Greenham Common Sculpture Competition, with her site specific sculpture "Changes" for New Greenham Park former RAF Greenham Common. Commissioned by Greenham Trust.
2000 Gudrun was invited to exhibit in The Millennium Dome, Greenwich, a day solo exhibition alongside The Millennium Experience exhibition. Commissioned by Egils sjodur Skallagrimssonar.
2002 “Time” an indoor, 3D, 10 x 10 m site specific mural for Westwood High School for Girls London. The unveiling by Dr. Jean Gooding.
2002 “Core” Indoor water sculpture. UCL, the British Heart Foundation Laboratories, Rayne Institute, London. The unveiling by Lord Michael Heseltine.
2004 the Artist Award from Kopavogur town, Iceland.
2009 Artist´s State Grant, Ministry of Culture, Iceland.
2010 the installation of the site specific sculpture "Changes" by the main entrance to New Greenham Park, Berkshire. The unveiling of "Changes" by Sir Peter Michael 4th September. The nine part sculpture was fabricated at Benson-Sedgwick Engineering Ltd. London. Commissioned by Greenham Trust.
2014 the installation of "Absent Core" of monumental scale, Þorfinnstjörn, Hljómskálagarðurinn Reykjavík 19th June - 31st August
2015 the installation of "Labyrinth" and the opening of the exhibition SKULPTUR off Exhibition road London (invited and selected 2014).
2018 the installation of "Temple" monumental scale. Selected for, Gone with the Wind 3rd June - 30th September. The Icelandic Sculptors Society 50th Anniversary Exhibition. On the agenda of the Reykjavík Arts Festival.
2022 Solo exhibition Reykjavík. Public art in a private space. The site-specific sculpture "Layers", "Layers II" and wall work. Gallerí Reykjavík 2.-29.July.
SKULPTUR 2015 publication Hatje Cantz im. AK Purkiss.
Exhibition Catalogue skulptur includes exceptional work by seventeen contemporary sculptors from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden who were selected by the Royal British Society of Sculptors, London.
Selected text from Curatorial Overview by Claire Mander p.73
Formalism The title of When a Country... raises the question of when a country does fall in love with itself. Possibly when it has satisfied its narcissistic tendencies, when it formally looks how it thinks it ought, when it has its desired outward composition. The attraction of compositional and for-mal perfection is clear in the works of Jacob Dahlgren, Michael Johansson, and Gudrun Nielsen.....
......As for Gudrun Nielsen, she harnesses Japanese minimalistic form for Labyrinth (2015), inviting the viewer to change their perspective on the sky and the relationship of space to their own bodies. Labyrinth acts as a haven within a secretive enclosed garden only one step removed from the millions of visitors passing down Exhibition Road....
The Royal British Society of Sculptors, Prince´s Gardens, Imperial College London. 4th February - 15th May 2015
GREENHAM - A LONG TIME ACHANGIN' 2010
“This is Changes by the Icelandic sculptor Gudrun Nielsen, a monumental piece that has just been unveiled at Greenham Common where US bombers used to land – you get the references just by looking at it. Since the Greenham Common women saw off the last of the Right Stuff in 1988 the trees have returned along with the birds and the rest of the flora and fauna, and the military buildings have either been demolished or converted by the Greenham Common Trust which now owns it"....
Simon Tait a freelance journalist, writer and editor.
The former arts correspondent of The Times. ai Issue 263 SIMON TAIT'S DIARY 17.Nov.2010
JAPAN CURRENT 2009
In recent years sculptor Guðrún Nielsen has been fascinated with all things Japanese, which ties in with her enduring interest in clear and concise forms and proportions and qualities such as lightness and harmony, in short everything that contributes to the optimum balance of elements within the work at hand as well as the world without. These are qualities associated with the Japanese attitude to mass and space, as seen in their oldest buildings as well as their recent architecture. A fundamental aspect of this attitude is certain spareness with regard to materials, which is also an attitude that Guðrún subscribes to.
Guðrún first came to Japan in 2003 and again two years later. In actual fact, she had probably made the journey to Japan mentally before going there in person. In 1998 she was given a prize for a large-scale environmental work with a Japanese slant to be place by the now defunct Greenham Common airfield, where women protested for years against nuclear proliferation. The work, entitled Changes, is essentially a set of gigantic origami pieces showing a military jet in the process of deconstruction....................
...................In all of these works Guðrún looks upon their Japanese fundamentals as raw material, rather than a homage to a distant and fascinating culture. She uses their „foreignness“ as a kind of alienation effect, as a method of forcing viewers to reexamine their views on space and the material world, unfettered by traditional western attitudes to these entities.
Aðalsteinn Ingólfsson art historian and curator. Exhibition Catalog 17th.Oktober 2009