Through the eyes of artists

Huginn: Raven Wolf Bird

By Elise Skalwold

Ithaca, my home of 44 years, was initially as a stopover before moving back to Norway where I had been living. I quickly fell in love with both a man here and this place which is so similar to my familial Viking-steeped region of Vestfold, especially the verdant green forests and the fjord-like Cayuga Lake and deep gorges within Ithaca and surrounding environs which gives me a comforting sense of place while also linking both sides of the Atlantic for me.

My ongoing scientific research in Viking navigation and family history finds expression in my growing Vinland—Vestfold Series which combines my photography with printmaking, such as here using wild grapevines from my woods—a nod to the North American Vinland of the Ancient Norse Mariners—and beloved ravens of both countries, now newly reestablished in Ithaca after long absence, pairs of which nest in my trees. They are symbolic of Odin’s Wolf Birds, Huginn & Muninn (“thought” & “memory”) who flew around the world for him, just as I have, making my nest an Ithaca one, full of my own thoughts & memories.