Íslandsmerki / Emblem of Iceland

In 1969, Sigurjón was commissioned to make a sculpture to commemorize the 25 year Republic of Iceland. He completed the work, generally referred to as the The Emblem of Iceland, in 1973, and it was erected in 1977 at Hagatorg in Reykjavík. The full name of the work is: Monument to the establishment of the Republic of Iceland in 1944 . The work consist of five geometric columns, made of sheet copper, on a concrete base originally surrounded by water.

    In these years, Sigurjón made a number of columnar works, and this one is the largest of them. The pillars have an almost human appearance - each one has its own peculiarities. They form a group on the base − family or community − where the power of action consists of being part of a strong entity.

    The Danish poet Hans Mølbjerg vizualises this work in his poem:
Skak i bronze

Trafikken har fordrevet
men Odin spiller skak
i disse meterhøje søjler
der står tilbage her
i denne fastskruede position
af ikke forudsigelige
Som om man blot afventede
en helt uforudset
        med den 17. juni 1944

Hans Mølbjerg

Chess in bronze

The automobile has ousted
the raven
but Odin plays chess
in these towering pillars
left here
in a locked position
of unpredictable combinations
as if merely waiting
for the wholly unexpected
opening move
        of June 17th 1944

Hans Mølbjerg
English translation: Sverrir Hólmarsson