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The inspired landscape
About Elsebeth Norrie’s artistic universe
Residents of Nivå can immediately locate Elsebeth Norrie's landscape motives to the protected salt meadows, that give an impression of
how the entire area along Strandvejen looked in the past.
She is however not merely a topographical artist. In Elsebeth Norrie’s hand landscape art is transformed from representing local
scenery to rise above time and place.
She does this by defying the conventional water colour "wet-on-wet" technique for compositions that capture the essence of what
she sees. Instead of like the Impressionists trying to capture the ever changing light, Elsebeth Norrie works slowly and meticulously
to produce very serene compositions, characterized primarily by a great silence. She simply boils down impressions to fixed
compositional reference points with a good eye for the decorative and arabesque-like qualities of shrubs, hedgerows, interlacing
branches, wave ripples, and cloud formations. The motives are stylized, their forms are simplified and the composition plays just as
vital a role as the colour.
All this points to an affinity with the Symbolist landscape art found in Europe in the 1890s and until the first World War.
Elsebeth Norrie’s landscapes have more in common with LA Ring, Vilhelm Hammershøi, Johan Rohde and Mogens Ballin than
with the Golden Age artists or modernist artists such as Sigurd Swane, Harald Giersing and Fritz Syberg.
A relationship that Elsebeth Norrie shares with many young artists around the world who look with renewed interest to both
Symbolism and the Art Nouveau style in their indisputably modern works.
As with the Symbolist painters, there is in Elsebeth Norrie’s watercolour landscapes more than what meets the eye. There is an atmosphere
of mystery, of tranquility and serenity in her pictures, which makes them more than naturalistic nature reproductions. They become
atmospheric landscapes where it is more important to perceive the image’s emotional vibrations than its topographical accuracy.
With their serene calmness and stylized forms Elsebeth Norrie’s landscape watercolors assume a monumental character, although the
images often are not very large. A door is opened to something bigger, something timeless and eternal, as we well might call metaphysical
without being ashamed. Anyway Elsebeth Norrie manages to raise even the most prosaic piece of nature into something substantially eternal,
while she keeps her feet on the ground and with loving care depicts the sea and sky, sand, forest and beach with a freshness as infectious
as it is unpretentious.
There is no doubt that Elsebeth Norrie has found her own unique way to depict the Danish landscape. This is achieved not by seductively
expressive stylistic maneuvers or by soulful images of the blue hour, but by a way of painting, which initially seems quiet and inconspicuous,
but at a closer look reveals an artist with an impressive vision and a richly varied emotional register.
Tom Jørgensen. Art Critic of the newspaper Information