Grýla - PhMuseum

Grýla

Berglind Rögnvaldsdóttir

2020 - Ongoing

With roots dating back to the 13th century, Grýla is not to be messed with. In the olden days, poems and stories were written about her and her husbands, although their love stories were short-lived. At one point she allegedly ate one of them for breakfast when she had gotten bored with him.

In many ways, Grýla is Iceland's first feminist. The queen of the mountains up in the north and the goddess of the lava in the south. Today she is known as the mother of Icelands 13 Santa clauses that eats badly behaved children.

In 2019, I personally hit a low point. I was feeling insecure and inadequate, while simultaneously feeling like I was angry and overbearing. I found myself comparing myself to Grýla, the face of the evil mother. And so I started to wonder how society had turned her into this malicious creature that no woman aspired to be. Historically, society has not treated strong feminine energy with respect. Eve was blamed for the “fall of man,” Pandora was accused of releasing evil into the world, and Cassandra was cursed because she refused to fuck Apollo. These are obviously just folktales, but they are stories made by men and show women in the ever familiar negative light. I decided to create an updated more modern version of Grýla, the Grýla past #metoo and #timesup, the Grýla that doesn’t let society gaslight her into becoming the face of the evil mother, simply because of her strong voice. She needed to gain control of her narrative and for her truth to come to life.

And so it was, and in the end my truth came to life and I started to gain control of my own narrative again.

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