• LI_5696

Wise Roses

Bjarni H. Þórarinsson 1994

Bjarna H. Þórarinsson's Wise Roses are numerous. He mixes together the oval forms of the mandala and writing down so-called minimal pairs, the smallest sounds of meaning that can be written. He sees his ink drawings as vision trees that in their hundreds form special and very Nordic worlds. That is how the artist refers to Yggdrasil, the tree of life, where Odin revealed the secret of the runes, the key to writing. Bjarni's illustrated form, the revelation that he says is the base for his wise roses, came to him in the summer of 1988 in the following stanza:



Oss í té                 Us gave

lét í bé.                a slave.

Gyðju sé             Goddess engrave

síðar fé.               a letter to save.


Bjarni named the characteristic appearance of these illustrations benda (gnomonex) and the end results he named benduvísifræði (gnomonexology). He says that the name came to him effortlessly and truth be told a better concept than benda is hard to find to describe these sprouts, wreaths or organic coils. The wise roses are combined from a numbered collection of words that have the same ending, that Bjarni calls keys. They appear in the foot or the stem underneath the rose. Some of the numbered words are already in use while others await their turn. The occult form of the wise roses is a testament to Bjarni's attempts to rebuild an ancient view of the world where words, drawings and symbols collectively make a whole.


LÍ 5694, LÍ 5695, LÍ 5696, LÍ 5697, LÍ5698

The National Gallery of Iceland