The Tarira Statue in Tórshavn’s Viðarlundin Park celebrates the Faroe Islands’ most loved author, William Heinesen.
0075 Tarira Statue
Tórshavn, Faroe Islands
GPS: 62.014334, -6.778321
The unveiling of the Tarira Statue.
The year 2000 was the 100th birthday of William Heinesen, artist, violinist, but best-known as the Faroe Island’s most-loved author. That entire year seemed to be one long commemorative celebration in his honor.
William Heinesen was born right here in Tórshavn, in the building that is now the Katrina Christiansen Restaurant.
On 14 January 2000, the day before his birthday, the events began with the release of three books filled with William Heinesen’s previously unpublished texts.
Then, on his birthday, 15 January, the statue of Tarira, created by Hans Pauli Olsen, was unveiled
The statue “Tarira”, is also called the Elf Girl, and is prominently displayed at the top of a small hill in Viðarlundin Park, in the center of Tórshavn.
At the age of 70, William Heinesen began creating colorful collages from cut paper.
The image of Tarira was born in a cut-paper collage that William Heinesen created when he was 79 years old.
Through the layers of paper, cut to resemble a violinist playing feverishly, while caught in a cage of brambles.
The violinists audience, a lively young woman, seems to be bursting from the Earth, almost floating.
This woman, Tarira, is desire and enchantment. She is the representation of youth, life, and joy itself.
To solidify the metaphor that Tarira is the essence of youth and life, William Heinesen created another, lesser-known piece of art titled ‘Life’, in which Tarira is depicted, in her favorite pose, surrounded by an abstract swirl that includes human embryos and young children playing.
By the time Heinesen put his scissors down at the age of 85, Tarira had appeared in many pieces of his art.
The statue of Tarira is cast in bronze and created by the well-known Faroese sculptor, Hans Pauli Olsen. Olsen has many more bronze sculptures throughout the park.
The stone on which Tarira so delicately stands, is quite symbolic.
The hollowed-out front of the rock presents a silhouette of the author, William Heinesen.
Tarira is dancing her way out of the mind of William Heinesen. This is because she is the representation of Heinesen’s imagination and creativity. She is his muse.
If you walk around the back of the statue, you will see the familiar figure of the man with a violin.
The aside from being yet another symbolic reference to the author (Heinesen also played the violin) the silhuoette could also reference one of Heinesens famous works “Glataðu Spælimenninir” (The Doomed Fiddler) (1950).
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